the jews and the poetry

by tobybee

just got home from the friday night poetry slam at the nuyorican poets cafe, and my head is spinning from the wonderful inspiring words. as i walked away – and walked home through the beautiful new york night – i was reminded again of how much i wish i could write poetry. but i can’t, so instead i’ll introduce you to two of jewish elements of the evening (there was a third – a male poet from seattle, but whose name i can’t remember, and i can’t find it online. if i figure it out i’ll update this).

photo property of jonathan weiskopf

one was in the photos which hung on the walls, of poets from the nuyorican. i can’t find the images online (i think they’ve only just been put out so can’t be seen yet online), but the photographer, jonathan weiskopf, has other images online, including a series called ‘chosen’, which is well worth a look.

and the second was a poet, caroline rothstein, who performed an amazing poem which talked of anti-arab and anti-muslim racism, and antisemitism, and the illogics of hatred in america. alas, i can’t find a version of it online (and, again, i didn’t catch the name of poem) but here’ another poem that she did a few years ago at the nuyorican, entitled ‘for bernie madoff’:

so that’s how i spent part of my shabbes (the earlier bit was spent at the whitney, where i heard another yid, jacob appelbaum, talk about surveillance cultures in america). and so a good and peaceful shabbes to you all, wherever in the world you may be.

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