Tag Archive for poetry

Another side of the Kinneret

“We’re just about to cross the River Jordan,” says our guide, Mike Rogoff, as our van approaches a bridge traversing a gulley of greenery. “So don’t blink and don’t sneeze, or you’ll miss it. This is not the St. Lawrence. The people who wrote those marvelous spirituals — ‘the River Jordan is deep and wide’…

Profile: Toronto poet-essayist Kenneth Sherman

Toronto native Ken Sherman loved fishing as a boy at Jackson’s Point, where his family had a summer cottage. But these days, whenever he tosses out a line, it’s usually a line of poetry. At 50, Sherman is celebrating the publication of his 10th book — The Well: New and Selected Poems (Wolsak and Wynn,…

Dorothy Parker and the Algonquin Hotel

“Harpo Marx, having played a mute in all his films, was probably the most articulate of all the Marx brothers,” declares Barbara McGurn as we sit in the Oak Room of New York’s famed Algonquin Hotel, awaiting the entrance of cabaret performer K.T. Sullivan. The next moment McGurn, who is equal parts literary scholar and…

The enduring legacy of A. M. Klein

Ask any Jewish writer in Canada to name some of his or her most important influences, and before long the name of A.M. Klein is certain to arise. In an unofficial survey of contemporary Canadian writers whose works explore Jewish themes or feature Jewish characters, this writer found that almost all of them were quick…

Profile: Poet Seymour Mayne

One needs a “strong sense of perseverance” to be a poet, says Seymour Mayne, the Ottawa professor and wordsmith whose recent slim volume September Rain (Mosaic Press) is the 29th book of poetry he’s published since 1964 — “ken eina hora, almost 41 years ago.” Educated at the Talmud Torah in his native Montreal, Mayne…

Rafi Aaron on Osip Mandelstam

This year’s Jewish Book Fair (2006) features Toronto poet Rafi Aaron, whose few published volumes to date have traveled surprisingly far and gained impressive renown in the world. On November 12, Aaron and friends are due to present a celebration in words and music of the life and poetry of Osip Mandelstam, the legendary Russian-Jewish…

Obit: Miriam Waddington (2004)

To the many friends and critics who feel that Canadian-Jewish poet and writer Miriam Waddington did not get the recognition she deserved in life, her recent death in Vancouver seems especially sad and ironic because it occurred only weeks before she would have gained what may very well be her largest popular reading audience and…

Sugarman’s Forms of Gone

Toronto-born poet Yerra Sugarman has won a prestigious American literary award for a debut collection of poems, Forms of Gone, that captures the experience of being a daughter of Holocaust survivors growing up in a survivor community in north Toronto. A university instructor who has lived in New York for more than 20 years, Sugarman…

Simchovitch’s Fiery Mountain

Readers of the Yiddish Forward may have noticed several published notices in the New York-based newspaper a while ago congratulating Toronto poet and writer Simcha (Sam) Simchovitch for passing the milestone of his 85th birthday. Simchovitch is known as one of Canada’s senior Yiddish writers, yet he’s also achieved recognition for his literary contributions in…