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 2020, 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 many 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. 

We're restarting our workshops in shortened Zoom format - two one-hour presentation-plus-exercise sessions. The first will be held on December  29th at 7:30 pm Israel time, on the subject of Metrical Poetry. Registration is already full! - but if you're interested do contact our secretary Linda and ask her to add you to the waiting list - if there's enough interest in this or any future Zoom workshop, we can rerun it.

We opened the submission period for the 2nd Bar Sagi Young Poets Prize on November 15th. Submissions are welcome from school students aged 12 to 19 at the time the poem was written, both Israeli and from abroad, until the end of January 2021. Do pass on this information to any families with teenage children who like to write poetry in English! For details, see our Bar Sagi Prize webpage.

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).


Our Upper Galilee group's "Formal Elements in English Language Poetry" class wi here to edit text

The 2nd Bar Sagi Young Poets Prize submission period opens on November 15th. Please everyone, tell your young relatives and their teachers about it! Full details about the competition, including how to submit and a link to its rules and guidelines for submission, are on the Bar Sagi Prize page.

The 2020 Reuben Rose competition has now closed for submissions and is in the process of being judged. We expect to notify the contestants regarding the winners in mid-December 2020. Remember that once you've heard the results, you can turn around and submit the poems that didn't win a prize or an Honourable Mention to the 2021 Anthology - submissions to the Anthology open on December 15th.

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.

The 2020 Voices Israel Anthology has been printed and distributed to all our members. It's a beautiful volume - many thanks to Johnmichael Simon our designer and producer. 

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: after a Shakespeare interlude, the course has moved back to lyrical and narrative poetry, focusing on great women poets of the 19th century. In September the focus will be on Emily Bronte and her unique family and family lore.  The meeting will take place on a Wednesday, for the exact date and further information please  email Reuven.

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 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.

What our Members Have Been Doing

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!

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!