UNC Asheville hosts Orthodox Jewish poet Yehoshua November Nov. 14

Photo courtesy of UNC Asheville.
Photo courtesy of UNC Asheville.

From the University of North Carolina Asheville:

Poet Yehoshua November, Author of Two Worlds Exist, to Read at UNC Asheville on Nov. 14

Poet Yehoshua November will read from his just-published collection, Two Worlds Exist, at noon on Monday, Nov. 14 at UNC Asheville’s Karpen Hall, in the Laurel Forum. This reading is free and open to everyone.

Two Worlds Exist was published on Nov. 1, 2016 by Asheville-based Orison Books, operated by Luke Hankins, senior editor of Asheville Poetry Review. A week before the book’s publication, “Prayer,” a poem from the collection was included in The New York Times Magazine.

November’s poetry stems from his Orthodox Jewish spiritual foundation and its intersection with everyday life and issues. “When writing poetry for a broad audience, I am conscious of the fact that unchecked celebration of God or abounding positivity in general would never go over well. This pushes me to explore questions in my poetry, which is what makes for good poetry anyway,” November said in an interview in Jewish Action. “For art to be moving, it has to be close to life, and life is full of doubts and challenges. A Jew is supposed to trust in God, but this too comes against the backdrop, against the possibility, of doing otherwise. This is what makes faith meaningful.”

November’s first book, God’s Optimism, won the Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His poems have been published in numerous literary magazines and featured on Garrison Keillor’s public radio program, The Writer’s Almanac.

In addition to earning a B.A. at Binghamton University and an MFA at the University of Pittsburgh, November studied for two years at the Rabbinical College of America. November has taught at Rutgers University and Touro College.

This event is sponsored by UNC Asheville’s Center for Jewish Studies and the Creative Writing Program in the Department of English. For more information, contact Richard Chess, Roy Carroll Distinguished Professor and chair of the Department of English, rchess@unca.edu or (828) 251-6576.

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