Special Feature in Muddy River Poetry Review

Friends, poetry-lovers, passersby and all! Share my happiness -- I am Muddy River Poetry Review's Special Feature in this beautiful fall issue with many fine poets. I hope you will read my five poems (and the editor's generous introduction), Click on the webpage image below to go to MRPR's homepage. To jump directly to my 5 poems and bio in this issue, click here: http://www.muddyriverpoetryreview.com/Janice%20Silverman%20Rebibo.pdf




Taking Stock




Gassing Up for Rosh HaShana


What is it I’m missing?

A bathroom door
a windowpane
in the shower room door
a shower curtain rod
the window between my kitchen and the utility porch
a fluorescent bulb
solar panels
a third
of the front veranda slider track
an appendix and two tonsils – an old story
(uterus
check)
(and two breasts)
a caress
the kids
cash
a credit card…
the grille ornament
my antenna

my gas cap


                    Gedera, Israel 2000



How times have changed! (Have they?) This is a translation of my Hebrew “taking stock” poem for the Jewish New Year, written almost 15 years ago. I dare say that waiting in line to gas up for the holidays is as much of a tradition in Israel as is taking stock. This was the closing poem in my second book of Hebrew poetry entitled תרגילי חיסור [subtraction exercises/problems] and also appears on Nilly Dagan’s fantastic poetry website here: http://www.nillydagan.com/%D7%A1%D7%95%D7%A4-%D7%A9-%D7%A9%D7%99%D7%A8%D7%94-%D7%9E%D7%A1%D7%A4%D7%A8-7/274-%D7%92-%D7%A0%D7%99%D7%A1-%D7%A8%D7%91%D7%99%D7%91%D7%95
…be happy to tell you more about this poem/about myself, about the ironies sometime – a certain time/age, a certain status in the aftermath, when kids have first flown the coop, digging for coins to put gas in my Justy, taking stock at the moment when my friendly neighborhood gas station attendant shouts out to me over the din – about what’s missing….
Funny how what we have and what we don’t fluctuates somewhat over the years, no? I now have a shower curtain rod (heads up, my kids), for example – apparently reason enough to celebrate! שנה טובה! Happy New Year and Happy Fall 2014 to all!


RAVSAK Hebrew Poetry Contest 2014-15

K-12 RAVSAK day school student poets are invited once again to take part in the annual Hebrew Poetry Contest.  More than 1,000 students from 30 schools have submitted their poems to this annual competition. I am a past judge and an enthusiastic supporter and admirer of all the poets and of this precious educational initiative.


Photo of me, i.e. Janice Silverman Rebibo

My daughter, M. Michal Rebibo, is a brilliant photographer among her other talents and accomplishments. This is her photo of me during those dark days of early treatment. Special, no?
Janice Silverman Rebibo
click on photo to view properly...

RAVSAK Hebrew Poetry Competition 2014


Another beautiful spread in HaYidion this year to honor the winners of the RAVSAK annual Hebrew Poetry competition, which I once again was honored to judge and more than that -- I was overjoyed to have the strength to complete the task and meet our deadline despite all.  What a talented group of Elementary, Middle School and High School writers from across the USA and Canada -- more than 350 submissions! My thanks to Lisa Inberg for organizing that incoming wave(!) and as always to Dr. Elliott Rabin for seeing this labor of love of his through to completion with me.
Read the winning poems on pages 28-37 of the summer 2014 issue of HaYidion here:
http://www.ravsak.org/uploads/files/hayidion/HaYidion_1402.pdf

Poet to Poet / Writer to Writer with Doug Holder

Many thanks to Doug Holder for the honor, pleasure and fun of Poet to Poet/Writer to Writer today. Here's the full version of the TV program, including Doug's interview and my complete reading. A MAJOR highlight of my days -- I appreciate this opportunity to revisit my poetry and benefit from Doug's cordiality and discernment. Some of you may note that I mix up the wars, several of which I've written about -- a statement in itself!

לחיות בתוך השיר -- A few words in honor of Natan and חופים "Shores..."



Composer, Dr. Gidi Koren, and I at the Toronto event honoring the 10 year anniversary of poet Natan Yonatan's passing. I read "Shores Are Sometimes", my translation to English (fast forward to about 3:50) of Natan's חופים, from the book he and I worked on together for so many years -- Within the Song To Live, Natan's selected poems in Hebrew and English.  Within the Song To Live includes a CD of Gidi and Natan's songs performed by האחים והאחיות:


[Okay – I’ve been convinced that I should add some information………., as I did on FB, AND suggest to the non-Hebrew speakers to fast forward to about 3:50 to hear me read in English...] This clip (thanks to Michal R. for the quick thinking!) is my evidence of an extraordinary evening of poetry, music and dance in honor of my friend, the poet Natan Yonatan, marking 10 years since his passing – a chance for me to tell a small part of the story of our shared experiences of work and camaraderie. I was unable to take part in the outstanding events in Israel with SusieMoni and Ezra (see previous posts) for example, but had this golden (yes!) opportunity to take part in Gidi Koren’s Toronto commemoration that reflected the depth, sophistication, talent and pathos, I daresay, of the man: Natan was the people’s poet, beloved by so many and finally, now increasingly appreciated in new, “literary” ways. I’ve worked hard myself to make this happen at colleges and universities -- beyond the poetry collection, Within the Song to Live, that he and I worked on together in the years before his death. Last year, I even wrote a chapter on the poem Hofim for vol. 2 of Prof. Vardit Ringvald’s bestselling Hebrew as a second language textbook, Brandeis Modern Hebrew. 
I’ll add one more personal note for those who asked to know more about May 15th in Toronto: It was a Cinderella evening for me – the last moment for that head of hair of mine (see clip…), which quickly disappeared almost exactly on cue at the chimes of midnight. As many of you know by now, I am going through treatment -- feeling far from my best... I had fears about mounting those couple of stairs to the stage, and you can imagine that I was doubly nervous to speak at all in public in Hebrew after so long. But “walla”, it happened (with so much help from my family and friends), and I was exceedingly glad to contribute ANYTHING to those beautiful hours with the good folks in Toronto. Looking forward to more…….. השאיר טעם של עוד........ 

Remembering Natan Yonatan לחיות בתוך השיר

No one was more surprised than I (see attached photo of Gidi Koren's blog in Hebrew, the poster for the Toronto event and the songbook): the doctors wrote me an enthusiastic "prescription" to make this last minute visit before my next round of treatment as long as I kept my 'feet moving on the flight'. With Michal's loving care and Gidi's and literally everyone's support the attached happened (it takes a village, but especially one extraordinary caring spirit -- my Michal).
That evening, I was moved almost beyond the ability to speak (almost... -- my voice shook...) by this opportunity to honor Natan Yonatan's memory. It was the video projected on the large on-stage screen of Natan behind his desk in his so-familiar study that especially caught me off guard along with the familiar words of many of his poems set to music, which took on deeper meanings for me and apparently for others, too.


[on PC: click each photo, then click again to enlarge]