Aviya Kushner in conversation with Dora Malech

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Aviya Kushner in conversation with Dora Malech

June 3, 2021 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Prairie Lights Virtual – Zoom

Please join us for a reading with Aviya Kushner to celebrate the release of Wolf Lamb Bomb, and conversation with poet Dora Malech.

To join this virtual event, register here.

Aviya Kushner’s debut poetry collection, Wolf Lamb Bomb, revives and reimagines the Book of Isaiah in an intimate conversation between woman and prophet. In the aftermath of September 11th, ongoing violence in the Middle East, and resurgent antisemitism, Kushner reflects on a Biblical understanding of humanity and justice. Wolf Lamb Bomb wonders equally about our relationship with an inherited past and our desire to understand the precarious present. These poems place the prophet Isaiah in the position of poet, crooner, and rival as they search for a guide in poetry and in life.

Christopher Merrill, poet and Director of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa, says of the book, ” “In the imagined life,” Aviya Kushner writes in her first collection of poems, Wolf Lamb Bomb, “the next step is always / a problem.” Guided by her reverence for the poetry of the Prophet Isaiah, Kushner steps gingerly toward the problems of contemporary existence—which are, of course, but variations on the themes of faith and freedom, heartbreak and healing, that have inspired poets from time immemorial. “In my body,” she writes, “I carry clarity and crime and the harp.” Hear her!”

Aviya Kushner grew up in a Hebrew-speaking home in New York. She is the author of The Grammar of God: A Journey into the Words and Worlds of the Bible (Spiegel & Grau / Penguin Random House), which was a National Jewish Book Award Finalist, a Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature Finalist, and one of Publishers Weekly‘s Top 10 Religion Stories of the year, as well as the poetry chapbook Eve and All the Wrong Men (Dancing Girl Press, 2019). Kushner is The Forward‘s language columnist, and previously wrote a travel column for The International Jerusalem Post. She is an associate professor at Columbia College Chicago, a founding faculty member at the Randolph College MFA program, and a member of The Third Coast Translators Collective. Her work has been supported by the Howard Foundation, the Illinois Arts Council, and the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture.

She will be joined in conversation by Dora Malech, whose most recent book of poetry is Flourish, published by Carnegie Mellon University Press in 2020. Tupelo Press published her chapbook Time Trying in Four Quartets: Poetry in the Pandemic in 2020 as well. Her poems have appeared numerous publications, including The New YorkerPoetryPoetry London, and The Best American Poetry, and her honors include an Amy Clampitt Residency Award, a Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship, and a Writing Residency Fellowship from the Civitella Ranieri Foundation. She lives in Baltimore and teaches in The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University.


June 3, 2021
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
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