POETS

Yakov Azriel was born in New York, in 1950, as Gerald Rosenkrantz. After receiving his B.A. in English literature, summa cum laude, at Brooklyn College, in 1971, he moved to Israel, where he changed his name to Yakov Azriel. He studied at the Mercaz HaRav Kook Yeshiva, in Jerusalem, and the Har-Etzion Yeshiva, in Alon-Shvut, Israel, and later completed an M.A., with distinction, and a doctorate in Judaica, concentrating on the stories of Rabbi Nachman of Braslav.

His first book of poems, Threads from a Coat of Many Colors: Poems on Genesis, was published by Time Being Books, in 2005. This book was a candidate for several awards, including the National Jewish Book Award, in the U.S., and the President's Prize for Literature (awarded by the President of Israel), which is one of Israel's most prestigious literary awards. His second book of poetry, In the Shadow of a Burning Bush: Poems on Exodus, was published in 2008, his third, Beads for the Messiah's Bride: Poems on Leviticus, in 2009, and his fourth, Swimming in Moses' Well: Poems on Numbers, in 2011 — all by Time Being Books.

Over 160 of his poems on Biblical and Jewish themes have been published in journals in the U.S., the U.K., and Israel since he began submitting poems, in 2000. His poems have won twelve prizes in international poetry competitions, including First Place in the 2004 Miriam Lindberg Poetry for Peace Prize, Honorable Mention in the 2004 Annual Poetry Contest, sponsored by Poetica magazine, Fourth Place in the 2004 Fifteenth Reuben Rose International Poetry Competition, Semi-Finalist in the Pablo Neruda Prize in Poetry Competition 2005, sponsored by Nimrod magazine, Finalist in the 2006 International Poetry Competition, sponsored by Binnacle magazine, Honorable Mention in the 2006 poetry contest, sponsored by Inspirit magazine, and Second Place in the 2006 Dancing Galliard Sonnet Contest. In addition, he was twice awarded fellowships from the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, for his poetry, in 2004–2005 and in 2009–2010.

 

Edward Boccia received his B.S. and M.A. degrees from Columbia University. In 1958, he was awarded the Borsa di Studio from the Italian government, for study in Italy, and he was knighted to the Cavaliere al Merito della Republica by the president of Italy in 1979.

From 1951 to 1986, Boccia was professor of Fine Arts in the School of Fine Arts at Washington University, St. Louis and in 1990, St. Louis University, home to some one hundred Boccia paintings, made him a member of the Order of the Crown of King St. Louis IX.

Boccia began writing poetry in 1980. His first chapbook, Moving the Still Life, was published by Pudding House in 1993. No Matter How Good the Light Is: Poems by a Painter was published in 1998, by Time Being Books, and his other books include Answering Neruda (Pudding House, 2006) and Carlo X (Pudding House, 2008). He has received over forty awards, with prizes from the Wednesday Club of St. Louis, the World Order of Narrative Poets, Negative Capability, Blue Unicorn, Rhino, Margie, The American Journal of Poetry, and the St. Louis Writers Guild. His poems have appeared in numerous publications, including The Eliot Review, Orbis, Live Poets Society, Poetpourri, Margie: The American Journal of Poetry, and in the anthologies Graffiti Rag Anthology, Memories and Memoirs: Anthology of Missouri Poets, Long Island Sounds, The Light of City and Sea, Gems from the Past, and Cuivre River Anthology. He has given poetry readings at the Focal Point, in Maplewood, Missouri, and at the Webster Groves Public Library, in Webster Groves, Missouri.

 

Louis Daniel Brodsky was born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1941, where he attended St. Louis Country Day School. After earning a B.A., magna cum laude, at Yale University in 1963, he received an M.A. in English from Washington University in 1967 and an M.A. in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University the following year.


From 1968 to 1987, while continuing to write poetry, he assisted in managing a 350-person men’s-clothing factory in Farmington, Missouri, and started one of the Midwest’s first factory-outlet apparel chains. From 1980 to 1991, he taught English and creative writing, part-time, at Mineral Area College, in nearby Flat River. From 1987 onward, he lived in St. Louis, near his daughter and son, and devoted himself to composing poems and short fictions.

Brodsky authored eighty-four volumes of poetry (five of which have been published in French by Éditions Gallimard) and twenty-five volumes of prose, including nine books of scholarship on William Faulkner and nine books of short fictions. His poems and essays have appeared in Harper’s, Faulkner Journal, Southern Review, Texas Quarterly, National Forum, American Scholar, Studies in Bibliography, Kansas Quarterly, Forum, Cimarron Review, and Literary Review, as well as in Ariel, Acumen, Orbis, New Welsh Review, Dalhousie Review, and other journals. His work has also been printed in five editions of the Anthology of Magazine Verse and Yearbook of American Poetry.

Brodsky’s You Can’t Go Back, Exactly won the Center for Great Lakes Culture’s (Michigan State University) 2004 best book of poetry award.

His most recent books of poetry include A Mississippi Trilogy and The Words of My Mouth and The Meditations of My Heart, which he wrote during his year-plus-long journey living with brain cancer. He passed away from his cancer in June, 2014.

To read Brodsky's interview with Charles Adès Fishman, about his writing on the Holocaust, please click here. His last interview, with David Herrle (April, 2011), editor of SubtleTea.com, can be read here.

 

Harry James Cargas taught for twenty-four years at Webster University (St. Louis) and published twenty-six books, including A Christian Response to the Holocaust and Conversations with Elie Wiesel. In 1993, he edited Telling the Tale: A Tribute to Elie Wiesel on the Occasion of His 65th Birthday, published by Time Being Books. He served on many boards, including the National Christian Leadership Conference for Israel, International Philosophers for the Prevention of Nuclear Omnicide, Canine Assistance for the Disabled, the Catholic Institute for Holocaust Education, and the Anne Frank Institute. He was the only Catholic appointed to the International Advisory Committee of Yad Vashem. For six years he served on the executive committee of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council.

 

Judith Chalmer's poems have appeared in more than twenty-five literary journals and anthologies, winning first prize in the New England Writers' Association Annual Poetry Prize and honorable mention from the Pushcart Poetry Prize.  She is currently Executive Director of VSA Arts Vermont, a nonprofit devoted to arts and disability inclusion, and is the creator of a dance/narrative with oral histories, "Clearing Customs/ Cruzando Fronteras/ Preselenje," on the lives of immigrants in central Vermont (1999), and author and performer of "Don't Go in There!" a one-woman comedy on racial and ethnic consciousness in central Vermont (2002). Out of History's Junk Jar: Poems of a Mixed Inheritance, her first book of poetry, was published in 1993, by Time Being Books, and her essays have appeared in anthologies such as Under Her Skin: How Girls Experience Race in America, Urban Spaghetti, and in Celebrating the Lives of Jewish Women: Patterns in a Feminist Sampler.