F160. Oy Vey es Florida: Poetry on the Jewish American Experience

Room 15, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
Friday, March 9, 2018
10:30 am to 11:45 am


From Borsht belt to sitcom humor, Jews have long traditions of making comedy from tragedy, including in the stand-up house of poetry. Jews compose over 50% of many Florida cities such as the oft' ridiculed "Boca," where portraits of Jewish shoppers overwhelm images of Jewish thinkers or writers. This panel brings poets of all ages, sexualities, and regions to kvetch and kvell through verse about the Jewish American experience. Secular or religious, righteous or salacious—all tucheses welcome


Melisa Cahnmann-Taylor is the author of a book of poetry, Imperfect Tense, and three books about arts-based education. She was awarded 2015–2018 NEA Big Read grants (Robinson Jeffers; Edgar Allan Poe and Yu Hua). She is professor of language and literacy education at the University of Georgia.

Robin Becker’s eight books of poems include The Black Bear Inside Me. Emerita Liberal Arts Research Professor of English at Penn State, Becker received fellowships from the Bunting Institute, the Mass Cultural Council, and the NEA. She edits poetry for The Women's Review of Books.

Alicia Ostriker's most recent collections of poetry are The Book of Life: Selected Jewish Poems 1979-2011, which won a Paterson Lifetime Achievement Award, The Old Woman, the Tulip and the Dog, and Waiting for the Light. She teaches in the low-res MFA program at Drew University.

Philip Terman is the author of five books of poetry, including Our Portion: New and Selected Poems. A selection of his poems has been translated into Arabic. He codirects the Chautauqua Writers' Festival and teaches at Clarion University, where he directs the visiting writers series.

Jacqueline Osherow is author of six books of poetry, most recently Whitethorn. Her seventh, White on White, is forthcoming. She has received the Witter Bynner Prize and grants from the NEA, Guggenheim, and Ingram Merrill Foundations. She directs Creative Writing at Utah.


March 27–30, 2019
Portland, OR

Oregon Convention Center