The forest beyond the trees
The return of the sun

Happy book news

Some of you may remember that in the years before I wrote and posted a mother poem each week, I used to write and post a Torah poem each week. It was a wonderful discipline for me. It kept me engaged with Torah, reading and pondering and then responding to the assigned weekly reading with my own heart and mind. I wrote and posted weekly Torah poems in 2008 and 2009; those poems are linked, one by one, from my divrei Torah index page. Anyway: when I paused in my practice of writing Torah poems, I collected them into a manuscript, and spent a while polishing and editing the poems in that collection.

I'm elated to be able to announce that my collection of those Torah poems, which is titled 70 Faces, will be published early in 2011 by Phoenicia Publishing, an independent press in Montreal which focuses on "words and images that illuminate culture, spirit, and the human experience." Is that not fabulous news? Beth Adams, one of the founding editors of Qarrtsiluni and the blogger behind The Cassandra Pages (also author of Going to Heaven, the book about Bishop Gene Robinson which I reviewed some time ago), announced the news recently in her post Phoenicia sails into 2011. Phoenicia published the anthology Brilliant Coroners, which I co-edited (and which I wrote about here); I am endlessly thrilled to be working with them again.

The hope is for 70 Faces to be available starting on January 9 -- the date of my ordination as a rabbi -- and I'll post here to let y'all know how you can buy a copy as soon as it's actually in print. (I'm also planning a bit of a low-key book tour, with readings and conversations in a handful of locations across New England and South Texas; if you might be interested in hosting me for an event at your bookstore or house of worship, let me know!) For a preview of the book, and advance praise from some clergy and poets whose work I really admire, stay tuned -- I'll have more to say about it in early 2011. But for now, I just wanted to share my joy.

I'm totally thrilled that this first book-length collection of poems is coming into the world at this moment in my life. Many of y'all commented on the early versions of these poems which were published here on this blog; I hope you'll pick up a copy of the book in print, too, because I think the collection is more than the sum of its parts. Also, Phoenicia does really beautiful work. I own a few of their titles (Pamela Johnson Parker's A Walk Through the Memory Palace, Dave Bonta's Odes to Tools) and am looking forward to buying more.