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Her Birth and Later Years: New and Selected Poems 1971-2021--Irena Klepfisz in conversation with Julie Enszer

Event date: 
Tuesday, December 6, 2022 - 7:30pm to 8:30pm

This event takes place on crowdcast, Charis' virtual event platform. Register here. 

Charis and Sinister Wisdom welcome Irena Klepfisz in conversation with Julie Enszer for a celebration and reading of Her Birth and Later Years: New and Selected Poems 1971-2021. This event is hosted in collaboration with Sinister Wisdom. Sinister Wisdom is a multicultural lesbian literary & art journal that publishes four issues each year. Publishing since 1976, Sinister Wisdom works to create a multicultural, multi-class lesbian space.

A trailblazing lesbian poet, child Holocaust survivor, and political activist whose work is deeply informed by socialist values, Irena Klepfisz is a vital and individual American voice. This book is the first complete collection of her work. For fifty years, Klepfisz has written powerful, searching poems about relatives murdered during the war, recent immigrants, a lost Yiddish writer, a Palestinian boy in Gaza, and various people in her life. In her introduction to Klepfisz's A Few Words in the Mother Tongue, Adrienne Rich wrote: Klepfisz's sense of phrase, of line, of the shift of tone, is almost flawless.

IRENA KLEPFISZ is a lesbian poet, essayist, political activist, Yiddishist, and a practicing secular Jew. Born in 1941 in the Warsaw Ghetto, Klepfisz spent the war in a Polish orphanage and in hiding with her mother until liberation. They immigrated to Sweden and in 1949 to the United States, settling in the Bronx among Yiddish-speaking Holocaust survivors who were active Jewish Labor Bundists (socialists) in interwar Poland. Klepfisz attended New York City public schools, Workmen’s Circle Yiddish shules, and earned her BA at the City College of New York and MA and Ph.D. at the University of Chicago. For ten years, she taught college courses at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility. She recently retired after twenty-two years of teaching Jewish Women's Studies at Barnard College. She is the author of five books of poetry including Periods of Stress, Keeper of Accounts, Different Enclosures, A Few Words in the Mother Tongue, and Dreams of an Insomniac. She is one of the foremost advocates of the Yiddish language and its renaissance in the United States. Her work has appeared in Tablet Magazine, In Geveb, Sinister Wisdom, The Current, and Languages of Modern Jewish Cultures, Brooklyn Rail, and more.

Julie R. Enszer (she/her) is the author of four poetry collections, including Avowed, and the editor of The Complete Works of Pat Parker and Sister Love: The Letters of Audre Lorde and Pat Parker 1974-1989. Enszer edits and publishes Sinister Wisdom, a multicultural lesbian literary and art journal. Julie is the co-editor of OutWrite: The Speeches that Shaped LGBTQ Literary Culture. She lives in central Florida.

This event is free and open to all people, especially to those who have no income or low income right now, but we encourage and appreciate a solidarity donation in support of the work of Charis Circle, our programming non-profit. Charis Circle's mission is to foster sustainable feminist communities, work for social justice, and encourage the expression of diverse and marginalized voices. https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/CharisCircle?code=chariscirclepage

Please contact us at info@chariscircle.org or 404-524-0304 if you would like ASL interpretation at this event. If you would like to watch the event with live AI captions, you may do so by watching it in Google Chrome and enabling captions: Instructions here. If you have other accessibility needs or if you are someone who has skills in making digital events more accessible please don't hesitate to reach out to info@chariscircle.org. We are actively learning the best practices for this technology and we welcome your feedback as we begin this new way of connecting across distances.

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Event address: 
CROWDCAST
Pre-Order Now Badge
Her Birth and Later Years: New and Collected Poems, 1971-2021 (Wesleyan Poetry) By Irena Klepfisz Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780819500168
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Wesleyan University Press - December 6th, 2022

Collected poems of pivotal Jewish lesbian activist


Jewish Women's Call for Peace: A Handbook for Jewish Women on the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict (Firebrand Sparks Pamphlet #3) By Rita Falbel (Editor), Irena Klepfisz (Editor), Grace Paley (Designed by) Cover Image
By Rita Falbel (Editor), Irena Klepfisz (Editor), Grace Paley (Designed by)
$4.95
ISBN: 9780932379788
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Firebrand Books - April 1st, 1990

Jewish and Palestinian women peace activists provide Feminist perspectives and strategies for engaging the range of emotions around the volatile Israeli/Palestinian conflict.


The Tribe of Dina: A Jewish Women's Anthology By Melanie Kaye Kantrowitz (Editor), Irena Klepfisz (Editor) Cover Image
By Melanie Kaye Kantrowitz (Editor), Irena Klepfisz (Editor)
$26.40
ISBN: 9780807036051
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Beacon Press - August 31st, 1989

In richly diverse essays, stories, memoirs, poems, and interviews, the contributors to this collection affirm the depth of Jewish women's participation in Jewish life and give strength to feminist struggles in the Jewish community.


Event Summary: 
A trailblazing lesbian poet, child Holocaust survivor, and political activist whose work is deeply informed by socialist values, Irena Klepfisz is a vital and individual American voice.