from “The Necessity to Speak,” by Sam Hamill

“The true poet gives up the self. The I of my poem is not me. It is the first person impersonal, it is permission for you to enter the experience which we name Poem."

—Sam Hamill, “The Necessity to Speak” in A Poet’s Work

Dealing with health insurance is a healthy pain in the ass! And I have, truly, a good employer-provided plan.

Teaching starts tomorrow. Two syllabi down, one to go. I wish I were more excited.

Four by Four is a curated list of four articles, four images, for pieces of music, and four things about me—lessons learned, books read, random fact…that sort of stuff. Right now subscriptions are free. Number 11 is live. I hope you’ll check it out.

This song, music and lyrics by the award winning composer David First with vocals by Yvette Massoudi, speaks to the desire for peace in Israel/Palestine without choosing a side.

The final installment of my series Israel and Palestine: Whose Side Are You On? is now live on Subtack.

“Subtext,” the second part of my series, Palestine and Israel: Whose Side Are You On?, is live on Substack.

I’ve written a three part series called “Israel and Palestine: Whose Side Are You On?” “Part 1: Context” posted today. Parts two and three will follow tomorrow and the day after. Because the question is not always as simple as one might think.

I’ve decided on two notebook projects for 2024. First, I bought a 5 year memory book from Leuchtturm1917, and I am looking forward to seeing if I have the discipline to keep it until 2028. Second, I bought Moleskin, one-page-per-day 2024 planner. I am going to try to repeat the daily writing practice that I did in 2020. I got so much good material out of that year that I want to see if I can repeat it.

My mother runs a dog rescue in New Jersey. These are pictures I’ve taken of her dogs over the years. I confess I don’t remember their names, but I do like the pictures.

I put this out every two weeks: A curated list of articles, images, music, and some stuff about myself. I hope you’ll check it out:

From my wedding thirty years ago. My wife had no idea what to expect.

This is quite an honor. It’s a post from Asymptote that one of the poems by Salvador Espriu that Sonia Alland and I translated was the fourth most popular piece of the year.

I cried my last one for now.

I had the deep pleasure of being interviewed about T’shuvah, my new book of poems, by Jaime Alejandro for his Arts Calling podcast. He asks really good questions. We talked about poetry and spirituality, about what it means to see yourself as part of a literary tradition, about the process of publishing, and more.

T’shuvah, my third book of poems, is now available for pre-order! The official release date is October 17, but if you order the book before then, you’ll also get a special gift: recordings of two of my own piano improvisations on the melody of Kol Ha’Olam Kulo, the English translation of which is the book’s epigraph: “All the world is a very narrow bridge, and the most important thing is not to be overwhelmed by fear."

This is me reading at the New York Poetry Festival from T’shuvah, my third book of poems, which will be out from Fernwood Press on October 17:

Keeping me company while I work.

Front view.

She’s happy I’m here.

I’m always interested to see where my translation are quoted.

From The Parasite of Translation, by Johannes Göransson:

If translating a poem is impossible according to the current definition of the poem – even though translations happen all the time – then perhaps the problem is not with translation, but with our idea of poetry. Perhaps we need a new way of thinking about the poem.

The hunt is on: I am, once again, an essayist in search of a conclusion.

So we recently had a water leak in our apartment. They came and stripped away the paint and this profile emerged. Wonder whom it could possibly be?