Not even two full months after I last wrote you in January, the pandemic shutdown began, upending our lives in ways both large and small. One thing being confined to my apartment drove home is how important it is to keep in touch with people, though I did not do as good a job of that as I had hoped. I wasn’t home alone–my wife and son were with me–but the enervating isolation of being out of direct touch with the individuals and communities that make up my world has made navigating the shutdown emotionally and psychologically challenging. I have, though, finally settled into a routine that allows me to make room for things like this newsletter, which I hope finds you, your friends, and all your loved ones safe and healthy. I hope as well that your lives are filled with joy and meaning in whatever forms are possible for you these days.
There is a great deal that I want to tell you, but since you haven’t heard from me in such a long time, let me start by reminding you that you are receiving my newsletter because you have expressed interest in hearing about my work as a writer and co-translator. If you are no longer interested, you can unsubscribe by clicking on the link in the footer at the bottom of this email. If you do choose to unsubscribe–all our inboxes are way too crowded, I know–I thank you for having given these missives from my writing life a chance. You can still keep up with my work by visiting my website.
If you’re still reading, let me first share with you some happy news. Poem #24 from the sequence “This Sentence Is A Metaphor For Bridge” has been published by Open:Journal of Arts & Letters. It’s the first publication I’ve had in a long time and I am especially happy about the journal’s page design. It’s really eye-catching. The sequence is part of my third book, called T’shuvah, which is the Hebrew word for repentance. Because the poems in “This Sentence Is A Metaphor For Bridge” represent a real departure for me, I plan to tell you the story of how I composed it in an upcoming issue. I think you’ll find it interesting. A few other sections have been published online here and here.
My other bit of writing-related news, for now, is that, in October, I will be participating in Tupelo Press’ 30/30 Project. Basically, it’s the small press version of a walkathon. Each month–the above link will take you to the page for September 2020–a different group of poets volunteers to write 30 poems in 30 days, while others sponsor them by donating to the press. It is a worthy cause, especially now when small presses and independent bookstores have been hit so hard by the pandemic, and Tupelo is a very worthy press. I hope you’ll consider contributing when the time comes.
Finally, a word about the title of this newsletter. “It’s All Connected” was the name of my very first blog, way back in the early aughts. I chose that title because I wanted the blog to be a place that would make room for the connections between and among all the disparate parts of my life, room that it is often excpetionally difficult to find from day to day. The blog did not work out quite the way I’d planned, though you can still read it here, and so I’m hoping to make this newsletter such a place. Even more, I’m hoping you’ll come to see it as a kind of conversation starter, whether with me–and please do email me (just hit reply) with questions or comments–or with others in your life.
I look forward to hearing from you if you do.