The Voices Israel Group of Poets

in English

To all our returning visitors: welcome to our new website!

We now have a top menu with sub-menus  (the little arrow beside a menu item tells you whether it has a sub-menu or not). Note that the top menu items are also clickable – e.g. you can click on About Voices as well as on the items in its sub-menu.

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 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 2019. The Early Bird discount has ended and the price is now 120 NIS for the year. 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. Full details, and the form to fill in, are on our Join Voices page.

What We're Doing

Most of our groups are holding meetings this month -  details are in the Newsletter sent to all our members. Would-be members who'd like to visit a meeting: please see our Contacts page to get in touch with your local group coordinator. 


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; we'll have the texts of the poems up on that page as soon as possible. 

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 Voices Israel youth poetry 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.


Dr. Judy Belsky, the co-ordinator of our Bet Shemesh group,  helped organize a pre-Purim poetry reading entitled "The Spirit of Purim: Poetry and Music" at the Israel Center in Jerusalem. Five of our poets read their poems. To see a YouTube video of the event (1 hour 23 minutes) click here. 


We're in the middle of judging submissions to the 2019 Voices Israel anthology. Our Chief Editor Dina Yehuda and the editorial team of Wendy Dickstein, Phella Hirschson and Amiel Schotz are busy making the hard decisions about which poems will feature in the 2019 Voices Israel Anthology. All those who have participated will be contacted by the Chief Editor later in the summer.


Our Annual General Meeting
was held on Tuesday March 12th at 6 pm. Here's the agenda. It was a lively event with considerable discussion of resolutions.  It was graciously hosted once again in central Tel Aviv by Birgit Talmon who  organized a very appetising range of refreshments, and was attended by about 20 members.  Ruth Fogelman was presented with a Steimatsky voucher to mark her completion of ten years as the Jerusalem chapter's coordinator. (Avril Meallem has succeeded Ruth - Welcome Avril!) After the formal business of the evening there was an Open Mike session - the attendees each read two of their poems and enjoyed the experience of listening to each other's work.


Voices and IAWE held a joint Poetry Reading in Tzfat — on January 24, at Mystic Mountain Studio and Brewery in the Artists' Quarter of Tzfat - see it on Google Maps. Featured poets: Reuven Goldfarb, Shlomo Sher, Michael Dickel (Dekel); invitees: Yehudit Goldfarb, Ann Bar-Dov, Pesach Rotem, and Michael Kagan. After the poetry readings the venue was opened to the public and a Hassidic-looking band played blues and jazz. For fuller information and a few photos to convey the atmosphere, see our Tzfat Poetry Event page. Thanks to Reuven Goldfarb for organizing this event! 

We recently held a workshop: "Imagery, Imagination and Poems that Build to a Series." Led by Dr. Judy Belsky -  poet extraordinaire and an amazing teacher of poetry writing - the workshop took place on December 17th in Jerusalem. The chapbook from this workshop, entitled "Mosaics of Memories," has now been published and is available for downloading here, and from the workshop page which gives more details about it and about how to order a print copy of the chapbook. 

Wondering what our workshops are like? Take a look at the Workshops section of our website.

What our Members Have Been Doing: congratulations to:

Avril Meallem (together with her poetry partner Shernaz Wadia in India) for having had published two Tapestry poems: Scarred for Life published in the special edition 'Women, Power & Creativity' in the March, 2019 issue of SETU: a Bilingual Journal of Literature, Arts and Culture (Pittsburgh, USA) and Homeland published in the April 2019 edition of “Narrow Road” a Triannual Indian Literary e-magazine.


Ricky Friesem for the publication of her latest poetry collection Gimme Shelter, Kipod Press, 2019 and her award-winning Essay in the 2019 Spring edition of Tiferet “What’s in a Name.”


Matthew Anish, for having a poem published in the April 16 edition of The New York Times.


Esther Cameron, whose piece on the subject of Pesach, "Please Think of This on Seder Night" is published on Sassonmag.com and whose poem, “At Attention on Holocaust Remembrance Day, 5778” was published in Sasson Magazine.


Kaila Shabat, who has five poems published in Poesia Sin Fronteras III, 2018. Her poems have been translated from English to Hebrew and to Spanish.


Ruth Fogelman whose book, What Color are Your Dreams? was published by Of the Essence Press and is available in Israel directly from Ruth and outside Israel on Amazon.com. Thanks also to Ruth for so ably organizing the Jerusalem group each month for ten years! And to Avril Meallem who has taken over as coordinator of the Jerusalem group meetings. 

Esther Schnur-Berlot - for gaining 3rd Honourable Mention ($75.00 prize) in Poetica Publishing Company's 2018 ADRP Award, for her poem "Arguing with the Deceased"and 4th Honourable Mention (also $75.00), for "Everything is Broken".


Helen Bar-Lev - currently a Finalist in the ADRP Award, for her poem "Who Knows?"


Yocheved Zemel whose entire poem "Desert and Rebirth" will be published on the Deronda Review  homepage. (It was too long for the print edition.) Her poem "Reaching for the Heavens" will be published in the print edition. In addition, four of Yocheved’s poems will be published in IAWE's arc26 2019 edition: "The Attic", "Freedom", "Flight", and "Love in a War Zone". 


The following poets – (in alphabetical order) : Hayim Abramson, Ada Aharoni, Ann Bar-Dov, Helen Bar-Lev, Dr. Judy Belsky, Chaim Bezalel, Lilian Cohen, Wendy Dickstein, Ira Director, Bob Findysz, Ricky Rapoport Friesem, Reuven Goldfarb, Miriam Green, Britta Kollberg, Mark L. Levinson, Celia Merlin, Helen Schary Motro, Pesach Rotem, Shlomo Sher, Johnmichael Simon, Yocheved Zemel, whose works were chosen by Editor Dr. Shawn Edrei for IAWE’s arc26. The launch was held on April 4, 2019, 18:30-21:30, at the Mazeh 9 Center, Tel Aviv.


Lidia Chiarelli of our Affiliate, Immagine & Poesia, whose book Sunset in Cup won First Prize at Premio Letterario Internazionale “Cinque Terre – Golfo dei Poeti" PORTOVENERE. 


Matthew Anish who had two poems published in the recent anthology Leisure - which publishes poems of the Green Pavilion reading taking place the last Wednesday of each month.


Esther Cameron whose poem In the Inner Court: A Purim Monodrama was published in Sasson Magazine. 

Rumi Morkin (aka Miriam Webber) whose poem "Smartphones" was published in Sasson Magazine, October 2018 (see https://sassonmag.com/smartphonesby-rumi-morkin/); and whose poem "Utopia" has been accepted for publishing in the Deronda Review of 2019.


Judy Koren whose poem "Utopias" has been accepted for publishing in the Deronda Review of 2019.


Ruth Fogelman who has had two poems published in the February issue of The Seventh Quarry.


Matthew Anish whose poem was published in the December/January issue of The Amulet. Matthew also has a chapbook, Golden Words, available for purchase at $7.00. You may reach him at greatceasersghost1@gmail.com.

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.