When our spiritual sap starts rising
A poem about the end of Shabbat on the road

Happy news: Ben Yehuda and Open My Lips

By_since5766_onWhiteI am thoroughly delighted to be able to announce that my next book-length poetry collection, Open My Lips, will be published by Ben Yehuda Press, publishers of books of interest to the American Jewish community since 2005!

Open My Lips is a collection of contemporary Jewish liturgical poetry which I hope will move and delight both Jewish and non-Jewish readers. This collection sits at the intersection of poetry and prayer. Here's my nutshell description:

This volume of contemporary liturgical poetry is both a poetry collection and an aid to devotional prayer. This collection dips into the deep well of Jewish tradition and brings forth renewed and renewing adaptations of, and riffs on, classical Jewish liturgy. Here are poems for weekday and Shabbat, festival seasons (including the Days of Awe and Passover), and psalms of grief and praise. Intended for those who seek a clear, readable, heartfelt point of access into Jewish tradition or into prayer in general.

Ben Yehuda Press has published some wonderful books which are staples of my rabbinic bookshelf, among them Rabbi Shefa Gold's Torah Journeys  and In the Fever of Love: an Illumination of the Song of Songs and Rabbi DovBer Pinson's Thirty-Two Gates of Wisdom. (I'm also excited about some of their new books which I haven't yet read, among them Haviva Ner-David's Chanah's Voice, Sharon Marson's More Than Four Questions: Inviting Childrens' Voices to the Seder, and Ora Horn Prouser's Esau's Blessing: How the Bible Embraces Those With Special Needs.) I am thrilled that they are bringing out my new collection.

And -- this is particularly exciting to me as a participant in remix culture and someone who shares a lot of work online -- the publishers are enthusiastic about the poems being available online for people to share during services and poetry readings and so forth. They believe (and I agree!) that sharing poetry online doesn't diminish its sale market, but rather increases it. Our hope is that those who read the poems online, or encounter them during a service, will want to support the poetry and its publisher by buying a copy of the book.

Stay tuned for further information. For now, I hope you'll celebrate with me!