Poetry at Etz Hayim Synagogue in Derry, NH

I asked for Wonder”

An Evening of Poetry

Thursday, May 2, 2019, at 7:00 p.m.

Etz Hayim Synagogue

1 ½ Hood Road, Derry, NH 03038 

Alfred Nicol, Midge Goldberg, Robert Crawford


            Abraham Joshua Heschel wrote, “Never once in my life did I ask G-d for success or wisdom or power or fame. I asked for wonder, and he gave it to me.”  Midge Goldberg, along with poets Alfred Nicol and Robert Crawford, will explore the role of wonder in their poetry.  Ms. Goldberg, Mr. Nicol, and Mr. Crawford are all recipients of the Richard Wilbur Poetry Award for their books–Nicol for Winter Light in 2004, Crawford for The Empty Chair in 2011, and Goldberg for Snowman’s Code in 2015, Robert Crawford is currently the poet laureate of Derry. The reading by the three poets will be followed by an open mic.

Please, come and share your poetry.

 Part of Etz Hayim Synagogue’s Continuing Education Program

Hot Topics and Cool Contemporary Stuff

This is open to the public at no charge.

Donations to the synagogue to allow us to continuewith these and other programs are welcomed.  

For more information Steve Soreff soreffs15@aol.comor 603 895-6120

2019 Newburyport Literary Festival Poetry Events

We’re proud to announce the list of terrific poets who’ve agreed to read in Newburyport on April 27, 2019:

Ned Balbo

Mary Ann Corbett

David Davis

Rhina  P. Espaillat

Nausheen Eusuf

David Ferry

Daniel Hall

Major Jackson

A.M. Juster

Sydney Lea

January O’Neill

José Edmundo Ocampo Reyes

Mary Jo Salter

Toni Treadway

Anton Yakovlev

See the festival website for more detail as the event approaches. It’s going to be a day to remember.

Chronos Dines Alone

My favorite surrealist Anton Yakovlev’s new chapbook, Chronos Dines Alone, winner of James Tate Poetry Prize 2018, will be out shortly from SurVision Books and is now available for pre-order: http://www.survisionmagazine.com/books.htm .

15th Anniversary of Boston Women’s Memorial

I brought three generations of women to the fifteenth anniversary celebration of the Boston Women’s Memorial, sculpted by the incredibly-talented, true artist, Meredith Bergmann.

The event was quite wonderful —simple, dignified and eloquent. The speakers took legitimate pride in having been part of doing the organizational work and raising funds to put the memorial together, pointing out that before its installation there had been only three statues of women in all of Boston. They acknowledged being discouraged by what has taken place in our country in the last two years, but they were by no means in a surrendering mood. Meredith’s own presentation was, of course, perfect. The three actresses who performed were utterly believable. And best of all, from my perspective, the three generations of women that I brought to the event all loved being there. Little Cora gave a babble-speech that competed with one of the actresses’ recitations!

Lazy By Nature

Mishara Records has just released a new LP (yes, a vinyl record!) of music performed by the Justin Quinn Band called Lazy By Nature. I wrote the lyrics for track #6, “A Woman’s Trick.” Justin, a legendary blues harpist, and guitarist Jon Ross teamed up on the music. I’d like to think that puts me at only two degrees of separation from two of the greatest songwriters of our time, as Ross has played guitar for Duke Robillard, who played for Bob Dylan and Tom Waits! The LP cover in its cover is a work of art suitable for hanging (I’m talking from experience), but for those of you without turntables, the songs can be downloaded from iTunes or Amazon.com here

Passages, our new CD!

Passages, our new CD, was released on October 1! Hard to believe that it has been nine years since our we made our first recording of melopoeia,, the art that so delighted Rhina Espaillat when she heard it as a child in the Dominican Republic. Rhina’s earliest memories include the pleasurable one of hearing poetry recited in her home to the sound of guitars and the piano. Her grandmother, herself a poet, would invite other poets and musicians to the house for recitals. Though as a child she could not understand what was being said, she understood immediately an essential thing about how it was said: music came from the spoken words as well as from the instruments.  “These people were having fun!” she remembers.

We’re still having an awful lot of fun putting together programs of melopoeia and performing them for appreciative audiences, though I’m afraid many of our best performances take place around Rhina’s kitchen table. It must be the sherry!

In this most recent program  we explore various kinds of journeys, or passages: the very different sea-voyages of conquistadors and exiles; the swift travel of atomic particles; a seemingly inconsequential walk from the work-place to the bus; and finally, the passage of time and the final border-crossing that lies ahead of us all.

Classical/flamenco guitarist John Tavano has never sounded better!

Thanks to Alan Bull for letting us use his painting for the cover, to my sister Elise Nicol for doing the graphic design, and to the wonderful poet Alicia Stallings, and the great Richard Wilbur, whose poems we’ve borrowed to add to the mix.

You can view track listings and listen to samples at CDBaby.