The Voices Israel Group of Poets

in English

Who We Are

Voices Israel is the natural home for Israeli poets writing in English, and for those abroad who support our goals and share our enthusiasm for poetry. From our initial launch by four founders in 1971, we have grown to a membership of around 160 poets in Israel and many other countries.  We are a fully-accredited and approved organization registered since 1993 with the Israel Organizations Authority.  


For fuller information: 

Do remember to renew your membership for 2020. The Early Bird offer having expired, membership dues are now the regular 120 NIS ($40).  
To renew, just fill in our membership form and sending it by mail with a cheque, or by email with details of your bank transfer, to our Treasurer. (We do prefer payment by bank transfer, or - NEW! - by PayPal from the Join Voices page; but you may still send a cheque instead, as in the past). Full details, and the form to fill in, are on our Join Voices page.

Come Join Us!

We're always happy to welcome new and established (yes and would-be) poets into our family!

  • To attend a local meeting to try us out - contact your local Coordinator.
  • To become a member of Voices Israel - fill in our membership application form and send it in - full details are in the form. Note that we charge a
          modest annual membership fee, which covers our costs and entitles you to a free copy of the Anthology and reduced fees for workshops.

What We're Doing

It's hard to meet when we're in isolation! Till Corona is over, we are Virtual Voices Israel. But many of our groups are holding "meetings" this month via email or Zoom -  details are in the Newsletter sent to all our members. Would-be members who'd like to join  a meeting: please see our Contacts page to get in touch with your local group coordinator. 

The 2020 Voices Israel Anthology is being printed and will soon be distributed to all our members.


The Launch event for the Anthology will be held, via Zoom, on September 22 - see the August newsletter for full details.

The Reuben Rose competition is currently open for submissions. It will remain open until October 1st. To submit, please go to the Reuben Rose Competition page, scroll down to the end of the page and click the Submit button. Please read carefully the submission instructions!

We've added a PayPal option to our website!    In the Corona era, and especially for our members and followers outside Israel, this is the easiest method. Unlike paying by check, you can complete the transaction from the comfort of your sitting-room; unlike paying by bank transfer, PayPal does not charge you for the service.  For full details plus PayPal payment options, go to one of the following pages:

  • New members can join us, and current members can renew their membership, via PayPal from our Join Us or Renew Membership page. 
  • Non-members can buy our annual Anthology, and members can order extra copies of it, via PayPal from our Buying the Anthology page.

Our Upper Galilee group has expanded its "Formal Elements in Poetry" series taught by Reuven Goldfarb: following the June meeting when they read Hamlet, Act I,  they are having a series of three meetings in July to read Acts II, III and IV. The class in general focuses on the sonic qualities of poetry — the rhythmic and musical qualities of the many varieties of English verse.  The final Hamlet meeting, to read Act IV, will take place via Zoom, on Wednesday, August 12, from 5-7 pm. Please  email Reuven  preferably at least a week in advance, to receive texts and a link to the virtual meeting place, or if you would simply like more information.  Reuven is also looking for people interested in reading a part in one or more of the meetings. Going forward, on August 26th  the course will move back to lyric and narrative poetry, focusing on great women poets of the 19th century.  Full details are in the August 2020 newsletter.

We held our Annual General Meeting  on Tuesday May 26th, by Zoom, at 6 pm. A record number of people attended including two members from the United States. Susan Olsburgh stepped down as President after five energetic years, and Judy Koren was elected as the new President. Susan Rosenberg also stepped down as Membership Coordinator, and we welcomed Edit Gavriely who is taking over from her. We showed our appreciation and thanks to both our Susans with a bookshop gift card and a big bouquest of flowers (delivered to their homes since there is a limit to what Zoom can manage!).  After the formal meeting concluded, we once again enjoyed an Open Mike session in which members each read a poem.


We've updated the Members' Directory, including adding our new members and adding bios from among those submitted for the anthology. Please check your entry in the Directory and if anything needs changing - or if you don't have a bio in there and want to send us one, let our webmistress know! Members please note that it's arranged by region you live in - in a few cases this is not the same as the group you attend.

We've also updated the Literary Magazines page of our Useful Links resource-list with a section for Magazines of Formal and Metrical Poetry. This type of poetry is not currently in fashion, especially not in the U.S., and for those of our members who are more naturally drawn to these forms rather than free verse, it's often hard to find outlets to publish in. That task just got easier. It's the second section on that page, after the Lists of Literary Magazines. Our resource list is fairly frequently updated so do check it out when looking for where to publish, or tools to aid the poet's work.

We are still looking for  a new Workshop Coordinator - if you'd like to nominate someone, including yourself, for this position, please contact our President or our Secretary.

We have announced the winners of the Bar Sagi Young Poets' Prize competition: three prize-winners and one Honorable Mention. The judges were poets Susan Bell, Itamar Blumfield and Wendy Dickstein.  To see who were the winners, and a link to the text of the winning poems, visit our Bar Sagi Competition page.

We've added several poetry magazines to the list of those that accept international submissions on the Literary Magazines page of our Resource List - and to the list of those that have published our members' poems in the past year - worth checking out if you're looking for a new place to publish in.

Visit to the National Library: on Thursday February 5th a strong contingent of Voices members from all over Israel visited the National Library of Israel in Jerusalem. We fulfilled the legal requirement to deposit two copies of the 2019 Voices Israel Anthology with the Library; many of our group of poets also deposited their own poetry publications, in accordance with the National Book Law. We were then treated to the privilege of an especially curated exhibition of poetic treasures, by the museum's chief archivist.

The texts of the winning poems and Honourable Mention winners of the 2019 Reuben Rose competition have now been released for publication. They can be accessed and downloaded from the 2019 Competition page or directly via this link (PDF file). Congratulations to the three prize-winners and ten Honourable Mentions! To see who they are, visit the 2019 Competition page.  


We celebrated the launch of the 2019 Anthology on December 1st at the Karaoke Bar in Netanya. The fun evening included poetry readings by attendees whose poems were published in the Anthology, or proxy readers for some of those who can't attend. We also welcomed the new editorial team for the anthologyDavid Fellerman (Netanya-Sharon), Edit Gavriely (Haifa) and Yehudit Goldfarb (Tsafat), who will together choose the poems for the next two annual Anthologies, under the guidance of our Chief Editor, Dina Yehuda.  See our 2019 Anthology Launch page for a fuller description of the event.


We've updated the Compendia and Organizations section of our Resource List, adding especially U.K. sites of organizations that offer lists of competitions, magazines currently accepting submissions, tips for writers, etc. Worth checking out!


The chapbook resulting from out 2019 Midsummer Workshop in Haifa is still available! Collator Judith Fineberg has worked hard with Johnmichael Simon to produce Inspiration by the Bay,  an impressive memento of the Voices workshop held in June at Susan Rosenberg's home. The general theme of the workshop was poetic form - for details, see our Haifa Workshop June 2019 page.  Over 40 poems have resulted from the three topics presented; and for the first time, a summary of the theory presented at the workshop is included at the start of each section. See p.14 ("attachment 2") of the September Newsletter for details of how to order.

We held the presentations event of the 2018 Reuben Rose International Poetry Competition on May 16th, 2019 at Mercaz Avivim near Tel Aviv university.  The first prize winner, John Gallas of the UK, didn't manage to get here, much to his and our regret; but sent us a lovely recording of himself reading his prize-winning poem, and an audio commentary on how the poem came to be written. Our two Israeli prize-winners and three Israeli "honourable mentions" read their poems themselves, while the poems of those who live abroad were beautifully read by Israeli proxy readers. 


Here's a link to the full  list of winners and Honorable Mentions; from that page you can read and download the texts of the poems (pdf file). 

Here's a link to the page for the presentations evening, including John Gallas's recording of his poem and a few photos to give the feel of the evening. To see more photos from the event, visit our Facebook page !


At the same event, we launched a new Voices Israel initiative: the Bar Sagi Young Poets Prize endowed in memory of a young Israeli poet, Bar Sagi. Bar was a talented young poet who sadly died in 2017 in her sixteenth year. Her family is endowing a prize in her name and family members attended the launch. We hope that this prize will not only give solace but  also promote poetry among young poets. We’re delighted that Voices Israel is going to help encourage the voices of the young in Israel.

What our Members Have Been Doing

August 2020: congratulations to:


Seymour Mayne, whose book, Perfume: Poems and Word Sonnets, has been published by St. Catharines, Ontario: Ronald P. Frye & Co. See here for further details.


David Fellerman, who is showing his paintings in an exhibition at the Ben Ami Gallery Summer Sale in Tel Aviv. The exhibit opened on July 30th and runs through August 25th. As a bonus, each of his art pieces contains a poem of his that relates to the title of the painting. You can see his gallery of work on his website at www.davidfellerman.com


July 2020: a quiet month for publications, apparently. But congratulations to:


Wendy Blumfield – whose essay “Coping with Social Isolation, including a photo of Wendy with her late husband, David, was published in the June 8, 2020 issue of The Jerusalem Report. It is online at https://www.jpost.com/jerusalem-report/coping-with-social-isolation-628574.


Judy Koren – whose poem "Dear Adam" was one of the winners of Lighten Up Online's March competition, and whose poem "Jaffa, as Microcosm" has been published in the June 2020 issue of the Taj Mahal Review.


Michael Stone, whose poem “Fresh Air” has been published in the 2019 Poetry Edition of Mizmor Anthology.


June 2020: our members have been busy! Congratulations to:


Judith R. Robinson, who was named Featured Poet in the current issue of PoetryMagazine. See http://www.poetrymagazine.com/poetry_magazine_zawinski_judith_r_robinson.html.


Stanley Barkan, Helen Bar-Lev, Lidia Chiarelli, and Carolyn Mary Kleefeld, whose poems and/or paintings have been published in the 2020 Anthology of Immagine & Poesia. See Immagine & Poesia 2020 Anthology


Ruth Fogelman whose latest three poems, "Jerusalem's Air," "City of Dreamers and Dreams" and "Precious City" have been published in The Deronda Review in honor of Jerusalem Day.


Pesach Rotem, whose poem “A Thorough Scrubbing” was published in Headline Poetry & Press at https://headlinepoetryandpress.com/2020/05/05/rx-poetry-a-thorough-scrubbing-by-pesach-rotem/.

Channah Moshe, who has two poems published in Prosopisia: "Agam Hachoula" and "Ahead."


Ada Aharoni, whose poem “Time in Abadan” and a story “Nona Zina’s Time” have been published in the new ARC Magazine, number 22, published by IAWE - Israeli Association of Writers in English.


Helen Bar-Lev, whose Poems of Love and Loss, “Now or Before or Soon” and “Quickly” have been published in the Reiter’s Block magazine dated April 21, 2020.


Shoshana Kent, who has published her first book through Amazon (her second to date altogether). It is an illustrated poem, for children as well as adults, called “I Don’t Know Age.” 


Esther Berlot, whose memoir chapbook “Changing Conversations” was published as a new voice in poetry by Moonstone Press in Philadelphia.


Michael Stone, whose poem “Beauty Unrolling” has been published in the Spring – 2020 issue of The Avocet, A Journal of Nature Poetry.

 

Immanuel Suttner, who has launched his second collection of poetry, Ripening (Quartz Press); it includes several poems with Jewish or Israeli themes.


SPECIAL CONGRATULATIONS  to Reuven Goldfarb on celebrating his 75th birthday. Until 120 in good health!!  Happy Birthday Reuven!

May 2020: Congratulations to:


The Winners of the Bar Sagi Young Poets Prize. First prize goes to Ester Belokurov; Second prize to Yaara Heller; Third prize to Haya Moukouri; and Honorable Mention to Liraz Eliszda.


Helen Bar-Lev, whose Panku poems “Virus isolation” and “Corona Aloneness” have been published in the April 2020 Issue 006 of Devour Art & Lit Canada.


Stanley H. Barkan, Rifkah Goldberg, Susan Olsburgh and Judith R. Robinson whose poems have been published in the 22nd Annual Yom HaShoah Issue of Poetry Super Highway.


Rumi Morkin (aka Miriam Webber) who has had two poems accepted for the April issue of Narrow Road.  Also special congratulations to Miriam on the birth of a great-granddaughter - Mazal Tov!


Judy Koren whose poem "Neverland" has been published in the Spring issue of The Road Not Taken - A Journal of Formal Poetry.


Robert Keeler (Washington USA) who has published his first book of poetry, Detonation.

April 2020: Congratulations to

Joanna Chen, Ruth Fogelman, Hayim Abramson and Avril Meallem who each have published a poem in English - and additionally to Ruth Fogelman, Avril Meallem and Hayim Abramson who each have published a poem in Hebrew in Amaravati Poetic Prism 2019 International Multilingual Anthology.

Hayim Abramson, Stanley Barkan, Helen Bar Lev and Ruth Fogelman for their poems published in the winter/spring 2020 issue of The Seventh Quarry.
 
Michael E. Stone, whose poem “He Is Place” was published in the Deronda Review, Vol. VIII No.2, 2020, p. 17. 

Judy Koren, whose poem "Building a Wall" was published in the same 2020 issue of the Deronda Review, p. 8-9; and whose poems "Better Late than Never" and "Supersizing" have been accepted for upcoming issues of Lighten Up Online.

Steven (Shlomo) Sher, whose new book of poems, What Comes from the Heart: Poems in the Jewish Tradition was published in March 2020 by Cyberwit in India. In addition, Steven’s book, Contestable Truths, Incontestable Lies is now available directly from Dos Madres Press or through Small Press Distribution.


Miriam Davis from Nazareth Illit (Haifa group) - special congratulations on the birth of a great-grandson. Mazal tov Miriam!

March 2020: congratulations to:


Immanuel Suttner, whose second collection of poetry, “Ripening” has been published by Quartz press. The book will be available on Amazon later this month.


David Silverman, whose book of poetry, “And God Created Hummus” has been published by a Chicago publisher, Glass Lyre Press.


Miriam Webber (aka Rumi Morkin), whose short story “The Sheep Saga – a social revolution” has been published in the latest issue of Prosopisia; whose poem “Building our House” will appear in the coming issue of the Deronda Review; and whose poem “The spyder” (inspidered by William Blake) was accepted by Narrow Road for the December 2019 issue. See https://issuu.com/narrowroad.mag/docs/narrow_road_dec_19


Reuven Goldfarb, whose poem "Amici" was accepted for publication in the Deronda Review.


Linda Goldberg, whose  story “Everyone Should Be Treated With Dignity” has been published in Building Blocks Magazine


February 2020: Congratulations to:


Isaac Cohen, whose poem "Dream" was published in the January 2020 edition of Tamili and translated into Tamil, and six of whose poems were published in Atunis Poetry Magazine's 2020 Anthology. 


January 2020: Congratulations t0:


Richard Shavei-Tzion, who was chosen as Poetry Super Highway Poet of the Week for his poem “The last thing my father did for me”. See, http://poetrysuperhighway.com/psh/december-9-15-2019-poetry-from-richard-leach-and-richard-shavei-tzion/


Rumi Morkin, (pen name of Miriam Webber), whose poem “The spyder” (inspidered by William Blake) has been accepted by Narrow Road for the December 2019 issue. See https://issuu.com/narrowroad.mag/docs/narrow_road_dec_19


Steven Sher, who has published a new book of poems (Nov. 2019) “Contestable Truths, Incontestable Lies” which chronicles his ‘immigrant reality’ in Jerusalem.


Matthew Anish, who had two poems published in the December 2019 issue of Conceit magazine: "Dreaming an Electric Reality" and  "My Rock and Roll Friend."


Hannah Moshe, whose poem Hainault Forest has been published in Seventh Quarry (Wales) 2019, The haiku Petals of Awareness which she also wrote is also published there, but was unfortunately erroneously attributed to her mother (who is also a poet).


Susan Rosenberg, who has recently celebrated her 95th birthday! We wish you good health and happiness till 120, Susan!