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Friday, December 14 , 2018, 6:34 pm | Fair 58º


Steve Braff Discusses Jewish Poets at Margins

The Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara is offering a new poetry program every third Thursday, starting 2-3 p.m. Nov. 16 at the Bronfman Family Jewish Community Center.

Classes open with a 30-minute guided reading and discussion of a select Jewish poet's work, followed by an open mic during which participants will be encouraged to read their favorites or share their own work.

The program will highlight a different poet each month, which will be specified on the federation’s monthly program guide. The first featured poet of the month is Leonard Cohen.

The class will include readings from the works of Cohen, Yehuda Amichai, Alvin Fine, Phillip Levine, Allen Ginsberg, Bob Dylan and others.

Over the past year, Steve Braff has been exploring his relationship to Judaism using poetry as a way to bring to word what it means for him to be a post-Holocaust Jew.

Braff's poetry has been published in Tea House, Muryoko Journal of Shin Buddhism, Muscogee Nation News, Cholla Needles, and Nomad’s Choir.

Braff's first book, Forty Days, inspired by images of Joshua Tree National Park, was recently published Cholla Needles Press. He anticipates release late this year of Exodus Remix, a poetic retell of the Second Book of Moses.

Braff is co-founder of the Santa Ynez Valley Poetry Workgroup, poetry chair of the Santa Ynez Valley Arts Association, and arts liaison for the Santa Ynez Valley Jewish Community.

— Julia Solomon for Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara.


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