Profile photo of Lisa Sawyer

This essay appeared in the Fall 2013 print issue of Tiferet. The entire issue is available in kindle edition here. Thanks for the view from my window with its sliver of park, light reflected off a church tower, outline of a bridge miles away. Thanks for the bad caulking around the window frame, a reminder that life is draughts and aggressive bacteria as well as good views. Thanks for distractions—magazines, e mails, dirty dishes, phone messages—that take up time until the anxiety becomes manageable. Thanks for the wisdom to have stopped yesterday in the middle of a page. Thanks for the difficulty of work, and for not being able to remember how difficult it is after it’s over. Thanks for tiny truths being so shy about revealing themselves: how else could they be sure that they’re wanted and deserved? Pigeons circling above the projects. Hunger for Chinese food—thanks to that country for egg rolls! Thanks for full stomachs and procrastination, for the urge to take a nap and the lack of will to resist; and thanks for sleep ending, the fear coming back but the birds circling, for friends’ phone calls and their petty complaints—and thanks for the revulsion against Read the Rest…

Comments
Profile photo of Lisa Sawyer
July 26th, 2015 at 11:57 am

Excerpt from Orphanage by Nahid Rachlin

Added by Lisa Sawyer

This essay appeared in the Fall 2012 print issue of Tiferet. The entire issue can be purchased in digital format here. Lunch took a long time. It was four o’clock when the relatives finally started to leave. As they were saying good-bye, everyone invited Mehdi to come and stay with them in their houses or apartments. They said he must be lonely in a hotel room. Mehdi told them what he had told his aunt when she had invited him to stay with her, that he had led a solitary life as a student and was used to being alone. After everyone left, he turned to his aunt, trying to get himself to ask her about the adoption. “Aunt Afsaneh, I found out something… it shook me up,” he said. She looked at him with anticipation. “I was adopted from an orphanage in Saveh. My parents never told me.” “I know, they decided to keep it from you,” she said aftee a pause. “They thought you’d feel bad. They intended to tell you when you were older, about to get married.” He felt a clutch at his heart, thinking yes, I was put on the steps of the orphanage by Read the Rest…

Comments
Profile photo of Lisa Sawyer

This essay appears in the Fall 2014 issue of Tiferet. The entire issue can be purchased in digital format here. god is not in heaven nor on earth. god is not above nor below. not within nor without. not in the soul or in the flesh. god is not an entity anywhere. god is the between of an I and a thou. we live our lives in search of lost-betweens, and we find salvation in the practices of the sacraments of the neighbor. the only claim we can commit to in regards to the identity of god is what moses heard in the desert during his dialogue with a burning bush: god, or the ineffable, or the buddha, or the source of being, or the one poem that contains all poems, is “whatever it shall be”. (אהיהאשראהיה).  in other words: god is a poem we enact in the between of i and thou. the gods that have chosen to live in the desert are devotees of the sacrament of the neighbor, with all its myriad ways and forms by which it can be made manifest. i write my poems to escape from my words, but, so it seems, only in Read the Rest…

Comments
Profile photo of Donna Baier Stein
July 8th, 2015 at 11:55 pm

Excerpt from Love Has Wings by Isha Judd

Added by Donna Baier Stein

This article appears in the May 2012 digital issue of Tiferet. The entire issue can be purchased here. Excerpt from Love Has Wings by Isha Judd In our society, people view comfort as king. Anything that makes life easier and requires less effort is prized. We have learned to refrain from speaking our truth for fear of conflict and to avoid confronting our fears whenever possible. We have come to value routine over the unknown, and security over spontaneity. Yet often the things that make us uncomfortable – the hard knocks, the disappointments, and the losses – are what challenge us most in our lives. We wish we did not have to weather these storms, yet they are what make us strong. They give us maturity and responsibility, and after all, what better teacher can we have than our own direct experience? Life becomes stagnant when we remove or avoid its challenges. If a child is spoiled, her parents or servants doing everything for her, when she finally faces the world, she will find herself without the skills to function in society. Similarly, if we overprotect ourselves and try to avoid the inevitable conflicts of life, we may find comfort, but Read the Rest…

Comments
Profile photo of Donna Baier Stein

This article appears in the Spring 2010 digital issue of Tiferet. Past issues can be purchased here.   “And what we are seeking is a body, a life on earth, in which our actions and behavior serve the higher impulses and intentions, the higher feelings, that constitute the heart of true human virtue. We are not simply searching for an improved version of moralist automatism nor for childish self-assertion masquerading as freedom. In a breathtakingly real sense, we are searching for a new kind of body, a body that has a new aim, a new purpose: voluntarily to serve the Good. And, to compound the mystery, in the search for a new kind of body within ourselves, there exists the possibility of discovering a new heart, source of love within ourselves that we have perhaps glimpsed within our lives, as in the legends where the seeker or the hunter has but one fleeting glimpse of a serenely beautiful face or a great winged being-a glimpse which, when understood, has the power to change entirely the direction of one’s life.” Jacob Needleman is a professor of philosophy at San Francisco State University and the author of many books, including The Essential Read the Rest…

Comments
Profile photo of Donna Baier Stein
April 27th, 2015 at 2:34 pm

Episode 54: Alison Joseph and Jon Tribble

Added by Donna Baier Stein

Please join Melissa Studdard and Tiferet Journal for a conversation with writers and editors Jon Tribble and Allison Joseph.   Jon Tribble is the managing editor of Crab Orchard Review and the series editor of the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry published by Southern Illinois University Press. He is the recipient of a 2003 Artist Fellowship Award in Poetry from the Illinois Arts Council, and his poems have appeared in journals and anthologies, including Ploughshares, Poetry, Crazyhorse, Quarterly West, and The Jazz Poetry Anthology. His work was selected as a winner of the Campbell Corner Poetry Prize from Sarah Lawrence College. He teaches creative writing and literature, and directs undergraduate and graduate students in internships and independent study in editing and literary publishing for the Department of English at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. His first collection of poems, Natural State, will be published by Glass Lyre Press in 2016.   Allison Joseph is the author of the books What Keeps Us Here, Soul Train, In Every Seam Imitation of Life, and Worldly Pleasures. Her honors include the John C. Zacharis First Book Prize, fellowships from the Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers Conferences, and an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Poetry. Read the Rest…

Comments
Profile photo of Udo Hintze
March 25th, 2015 at 7:33 pm

Episode 53: Dorianne Laux

Added by Udo Hintze

Please join Donna Baier-Stein and Tiferet Talk for a conversation with Dorianne Laux  DORIANNE LAUX’s most recent books of poems are The Book of Men, winner of the Paterson Poetry Prize, and Facts about the Moon, recipient of the Oregon Book Award and short-listed for the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize. Laux is also author of Awake, What We Carry, finalist for the National Book Critic’s Circle Award, and Smoke. Her work has received three “Best American Poetry” Prizes, a Pushcart Prize, two fellowships from The National Endowment for the Arts, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. In 2001, she was invited by late poet laureate Stanley Kunitz to read at the Library of Congress.  In 2014 singer/songwriter Joan Osborne adapted her poem, “The Shipfitter’s Wife” and set it to music on her newest release, “Love and Hate”.  Ce que nous portons ( What We Carry ,) translated by Helene Cardona, has just been published by Editions du Cygne Press, Paris. Laux teaches poetry and directs the MFA program at North Carolina State University and is founding faculty at Pacific University’s Low Residency MFA Program.   To learn more about Dorianne Laux please visit: http://doriannelaux.net/   Listen to the replay.  Our entire interview archive can be down­loaded from iTunes.   The Tiferet Journal Read the Rest…

Comments
Profile photo of Udo Hintze
March 24th, 2015 at 11:27 pm

Episode 52: Jessica Treadway

Added by Udo Hintze

Please join Donna Baier-Stein and Tiferet Talk for a conversation with Jessica Treadway. Jessica Treadway’s novel Lacy Eye will be published by Grand Central Publishing/Hachette Book Group in March 2015. Her story collection Please Come Back To Me received the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction and was published by University of Georgia Press in 2010. Her previous books are Absent Without Leave and Other Stories and a novel, And Give You Peace. A professor at Emerson College, she has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Cultural Foundation.   To learn more about Jessica Treadway please visit: http://jessicatreadway.com/   Listen to the replay.  Our entire interview archive can be down­loaded from iTunes.   The Tiferet Journal is most pleased to also offer to you our multiple, award winning and recently released, “Tiferet Talk Interviews” book. This book includes 12 more exceptional interviews from Julia Cameron, Edward Hirsch, Jude Rittenhouse, Marc Allen, Arielle Ford, Robert Pinsky, Dr. Bernie Siegel, Robin Rice, Jeffrey Davis, Floyd Skloot, Anthony Lawlor, and Lois P. Jones. It can be purchased in both print and Kindle formats at this link on Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/bu8m2zs

Comments
Profile photo of Donna Baier Stein
November 6th, 2014 at 2:03 am

Episode 51: Susan Piver

Added by Donna Baier Stein

Please join us for a conversation with Susan Piver. Susan Piver is a New York Times best-selling author of seven books and founder of the Open Heart Project, an international online meditation community with over 12,000 members. Susan’s books include The Hard Questions, the award-winning How Not to Be Afraid of Your Own Life, and The Wisdom of a Broken Heart. Her next book, Start Here Now: A Guide to the Path and Practice of Meditation, will be published in 2015. She has studied Buddhism since 1995, graduating from a Buddhist seminary in 2004. Susan was authorized to teach meditation in the Shambhala Buddhist lineage in 2005. Susan teaches workshops and speaks internationally on spirituality, meditation, communication styles, relationships, and creativity. In addition to writing the relationships column for body + soul magazine, she is the meditation expert and contributor at drweil.com and frequently appears as a network TV guest for shows including The Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN, Today, and The Tyra Banks Show. Susan’s work has been featured in numerous publications, such as The New York Times, TIME, the Wall Street Journal, Parade, Money, and others. She launched The Open Heart Project in 2011. The online meditation community features members who practice together and find ways to bring spiritual values including kindness, genuineness, and fearlessness Read the Rest…

Comments
Profile photo of Udo Hintze
November 2nd, 2014 at 2:05 am

Episode 50: Martha Serpas

Added by Udo Hintze

Please join Melissa Studdard and Tiferet Journal  for a conversation with poet, editor, chaplain and creative writing professor Martha Serpas. Serpas is the author of two collections of poetry, Côte Blanche and The Dirty Side of the Storm. Her work has appeared in places such as The New Yorker, The Nation, and Southwest Review, as well as in a number of anthologies, including the Library of America’s American Religious Poems. She holds degrees in English and creative writing from Louisiana State, New York University, and the University of Houston, and a master of divinity from Yale Divinity School. For many years as an educational consultant and as a poet-in-residence, she facilitated the teaching of writing to children in New York City classrooms. She has taught recently at Yale Divinity School and the University of Tampa, where she served as poetry editor of Tampa Review. A native of south Louisiana, she remains active in efforts to restore Louisiana’s wetlands. Since 2006 she has worked as a trauma chaplain, first at Tampa General Hospital and now at Memorial Hermann—Texas Medical Center. She teaches in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Houston.   To learn more about Martha Serpas please visit: Read the Rest…

Comments