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 150 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: 

If you didn't yet renew your membership for 2021, now is the time! 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 or Paypal payment, to our Treasurer. (We do prefer payment by bank transfer, or 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 most of our groups are holding "meetings" this month via 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.  While we're meeting via Zoom, you're free to ask to attend, as a guest, any of our local meetings. For members with no convenient local group, we also have a Global Group which includes members from both Israel and abroad.

Our next Zoom workshop, "Harnessing the senses for creative inspiration," presented by Voices Israel member Elana Dorfman, will take place on Monday March 8th at 7:30 pm Israel time (5:30 pm UK time, 12:30 noon US East Coast time). It's fully booked so registration is now closed.


The 2021 Annual General Meeting is scheduled for Monday April 5th at 7:30 pm Israel time, also via Zoom. If you would like to attend, please contact Susan Olsburgh (olsburgh.susan@gmail.com) to get the Zoom link.  The AGM will be followed by an Open Mike - if you would like to read a poem at it, please register with our President, Judy Koren (president@voicesisrael.com). For our overseas members: 7:30 pm Israel time on that date is 2:30 pm UK time, 12:30 noon US East Coast time, 9:30 am US Pacific time.  We look forward to seeing you all there!  You can read the full details in the official announcement here (pdf file).


Remember - now is your last chance to enter poems for the 2021 Anthology (submission period ends March 15th) and also to get the Early Bird reduction on membership dues (the Early Bird period ends at the end of March). For the Anthology, go to the Submitting to the Anthology page. For the membership fee reduction, go to the Join or Renew Membership page


The Bar Sagi Young Poets Prize submission period just closed and the judges are now finalizing their selections and decisions. We had considerably more entries than last year and eagerly await the announcement of the winners.

Our Upper Galilee group's "Formal Elements in English Language Poetry" class will hold its next meeting, via Zoom as usual, on Wednesday March 17th at 5 pm. It will be focusing on the late Victorians, especially the group of poets known as "The Decadents," including Oscar Wilde and Ernest Dowson.  It will also be looking at work by Francis Thompson.  As usual, please call or email Reuven Goldfarb if you would like to attend.

We've announced the winners of the 2020 Reuben Rose competition: 

  • First prize: “David’s Shield,” by Ricky Rapoport Friesem (Israel)
  • Second prize: “Lantern Fish,” by Jane Seitel (USA)
  • Third prize: “The Burden of Memory,” by Esther B. Lipton (UK)

The full list including those whose poems gained an Honourable Mention, and recordings (where available) of the winning poets reading their poems, is on the Reuben Rose Winning Poems 2020 page. The texts of the poems  will be posted there as soon as available.

We held our first "mini-workshop" - two one-hour presentation-plus-exercise sessions, via Zoom - on December  29th, on the subject of Metrical Poetry.  The 25 participants seemed to enjoy it, and there were no technical glitches. We look forward to publishing an e-chapbook of edited versions of the poems produced at the workshop. We have another workshop planned for early March, right after Purim - details TBA.

We held the joint awards event for the first Bar Sagi Young Poets Prize plus the 2019 Reuben Rose competition on October 27th, 2020, via Zoom.  Once again we had a great attendance with over 40  people zooming in to hear the young winners of the Bar Sagi prize, and the more seasoned winners of the Reuben Rose competition, read their winning poems. At the end of the event we held an Open Mike at which 14 of our members read their poems.  Further details of this lovely and much-appreciated event are on the competitions' respective pages:


  • The Bar Sagi Young Poets Prize event: see the Bar Sagi Awards Event pageThe texts of the winning poems and one Honourable Mention poem  can be accessed and downloaded from that page or directly via this link (PDF file).


We held the 2020 Voices Israel Anthology launch event on September 22nd. Over 50 members attended from Israel and abroad, and 37 read their poems - our biggest event ever! We were delighted to welcome members zooming in from Ireland, the UK, the USA and Canada. For a fuller account of this lovely event, and screenshots from our Zoom video of it, see the 2020 Anthology Launch page.

On September 13th we had a very enjoyable poetry-reading event for our North American members, ably organized by our active member Diane Ray of Seattle, WA (thank you again, Diane!). Nine US and Canadian members read their poems, with a focus on poems that have been published in the Voices Anthology. Judy Koren as President and Dina Yehuda as Chief Editor of the Anthology were also invited to attend and read poems, and there were a few guests from both the U.S. and Israel. Zoom worked perfectly and another member, Ellen Jaffe of Toronto, has already expressed hopes to organize a similar event, perhaps after Chanukah (thank you, Ellen!).  North American members, watch this space!  We have produced an e-chapbook from this event, sent to all those who attended it.
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.

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.

What our Members Have Been Doing

February - March 2021: Congratulations to:


Deborah Golden, whose poem "Gathered In" was published in an online book entitled In Silence We Wait (edited by Richard M. Grove, 2021) as part of the ongoing Poetry Pandemic Project. 


Judy Koren, whose terzanelle "A Night of Rain" has been published in the Formal Poetry section of the literary magazine Better Than Starbucks, Vol. VI no. 1 (February 2021).


Helen Bar-Lev, who is retiring from her post as Overseas Connections Coordinator, but we are keeping her on-call for poems and lovely artwork!! Enjoy, Helen.

January 2021: Congratulations to:


Diane Ray, whose poem “Capitol Offense” has been published on the website of Indolent Books, in their section Transition: Poems in the Afterglow o1 | 07 | 2021.


Wendy Blumfield, whose review of A. B. Yehoshua's new novel, The Tunnel, has been published in The Jerusalem Report.


John Gallas, our 2018 Reuben Rose first-prize winner and a judge for the 2019 competition, whose new book, The Gnawing Flood, has been published by Cerasus Poetry. “Winner of the Bronze Medal Award in the 2020 Cerasus Poetry Olympics."

December 2020: congratulations to:


Ellen Jaffe  (USA), whose 2006 young-adult novel, Feast of Lights (for readers 10-14 or so) has been published as a Kindle e-book, (the paper edition is out of print).


November 2020: congratulations to:


Yochanan Zaqantov, whose second e-book of poetry has been published on Amazon. It is titled “Modern Romantic Poetry” under Yochanan’s pen name, Ivan Labombarbe.


Pesach Rotem, whose poem “Light and Darkness” has been published in Open Arts Forum at https://openartsforum.com/elections-matter/#Pesach_Rotem.


Donna Bechar, whose poem, “Hers” is published in the new 2020 IAWE Anthology, arc28, The Kiss, to be launched on December 17 on Zoom.


Judy Koren, whose poem “Midnight Cricket” has been accepted for publication in Lighten Up Online – the online magazine of humorous verse.


David Fellerman, who has been interviewed by Judaica Spotlight highlighting his life, his art, and his poetry. https://judaicainthespotlight.com/meet-the-artist-david-fellerman/


October 2020: congratulations to:


Susan Olsburgh, who was awarded a Volunteer of the Year by AACI for her 10 years running the monthly workshop, Poetry Please, now in its tenth year. Susan introduces a selection of poems on topics such as medicine, sports, music and place names.


Pesach Rotem, whose poem “Professor Hofstadter’s Brain” was nominated for a Best of the Net Award by Synchronized Chaos Magazine, https://www.facebook.com/synchchaos/posts/3296515140394937.


Rick Lupert (of Poetry Super Highway, one of our affiliated organizations) who has published his 25th book, The Tokyo-Van Nuys Express, poems written last summer while Rick was in Japan.


September 2020: congratulations to:


Wendy Dickstein,  whose poem “Esther’s Angels” was published by the Jewish Book Council in its Berru Poetry series: https://www.jewishbookcouncil.org/pb-daily/esthers-angels


Anne Hall Levine (USA), whose poem “My Rose of Sharon” has been published in Poetica Magazine Contemporary Jewish Writing. See https://www.poeticamagazine.com/anne-hall-levine.


Judy Koren, who has had three poems published in different sections of the September issue of the light-verse webzine, Lighten Up Onlinehttps://www.lightenup-online.co.uk/index.php/issue-51-september-2020; and whose poem "Heatwave" has been published in the formal-poetry section of the September/October issue of Better Than Starbucks: https://www.betterthanstarbucks.org/poetry-unplugged


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!