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"Jews in the Midwest": 2nd Annual Event

Writing Jewish: Midrash, Myth and Miracle

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Lawrence Jewish Community Congregation 

917 Highland Drive, Lawrence, KS 66044

10:00am - 12:00pm: Writing workshop with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, 2009-2013 Kansas Poet Laureate
1:45pm - 5:00pm: Symposium, 3 talks by Jewish writers:
Rena Rossner, author and literary agent
Renee Perelmutter, author, Associate Professor of Jewish Studies and of Slavic Languages & Literatures
Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, author and Kansas Poet Laureate 2009-2013


Schedule of events

Writing workshop (RSVP below)
10:00am-12:00pm "Writing Midrash: Miracles, Mysteries and Meanings" a writing workshop with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg
12:00pm-1:30pm Lunch, free for workshop participants (RSVP required, participation limited to 30 members, Kosher lunch available, request by Oct. 5 [reserve: Jewishstudies@ku.edu or 785-864-4664])
1:45pm Opening remarks
2:00pm Rena Rossner
3:00pm Renee Perelmutter
4:00pm Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg
5:00pm Reception
"Writing Jewish: Midrash, Myth, and Miracle" is a one-day writing workshop and symposium, celebrating Jewish literature and creative writing in the heartland. Participation in the workshop limited to 30 participants, RSVP required. Symposium is free and open to the public.
Morning writing workshop with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg: "Writing Midrash: Miracles, Mysteries and Meanings"
Writing our own midrash - the Hebrew tradition of re-visioning traditional texts from the Torah and beyond -- allows us to get into the control room of cultural and religious dominant narratives to rescript how we live and re-vision who we are. Using innovative and short writing prompts based on poetic meanderings through midrash, we'll find our way into unearthing and inventing individual and collectives stories that can lead us to greater freedom and resilience. Throughout the workshop, open to anyone interested in midrash and writing, participants can experiment with poems, stories, and any other form of writing that calls to them.

To RSVP for the morning writing workshop with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg please click here.


For the writing workshop, lunch is free and provided; for a Kosher lunch please make your request before Oct. 5 by writing to JewishStudies@ku.edu or (785) 864-4664.


Symposium Speakers


Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg (www.carynmirriamgoldberg.com)
2009-13 Kansas Poet Laureate / Goddard College
Most recent book: Miriam's Well: A Modern Day Exodus
Lecture: From Jonah's Tree to Miriam's Well: A Writer's Midrash Journey


Writing midrash is a way to circle the fire where history, culture, and mythology meet in search of vital truths and callings. In Caryn's first book, Lot's Wife, a collection of poems, to her most recent, the novel Miriam's Well, and in other writing, she has explored the edges of midrash to unearth insights, images, and guiding stories from what lies beneath Jewish myths and mythic characters. In this reading and discussion, including excerpts of her own and others' writing, she'll share what led her to the brambled trails, underground rivers, and wide fields of midrash, and how the journey, like any spiritual and artistic practice, has been one of continually unfolding mysteries, discoveries, and most of all, questions.


Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, 2009-13 Kansas Poet Laureate, is a poet, writer, and founder of Transformative Language Arts at Goddard College, where she teaches. Author of more than 20 books of poetry, fiction, memoirs, and anthologies, her most recent books include the novel Miriam's Well. Caryn leads writing workshops widely, offers one-on-one writing coaching, and roams the prairies as a visiting scholar. www.CarynMirriamGoldberg.com


Renee Perelmutter (http://roselemberg.net)
Associate Professor of Jewish Studies and Slavic Languages & Literatures at The University of Kansas
Most recent book: Marginalia to Stone Bird


Renee Perelmutter is Associate Professor of Jewish Studies and of Slavic Languages & Literatures at The University of Kansas. They specialize in Yiddish and Slavic morphosyntax and pragmatics, general and Jewish folklore, and Jewish culture. They write under the pen name Rose Lemberg. Their creative works have appeared in Lightspeed, Strange Horizons, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Unlikely Story, Uncanny, and other venues, and they have been a finalist for the Nebula, Tiptree, Elgin, Rhysling, and Crawford awards.



Rena Rossner (www.renarossner.com)
Author and Literary Agent
Most recent book: The Sisters of the Winter Wood


Rena Rossner lives in Israel where she works as a Literary Agent. She is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University's Writing Seminars program, Trinity College Dublin and McGill University where she studied history. All eight of her great grandparents immigrated to America to escape the pogroms in Moldova, Russia, Romania and the Ukraine - from towns like Dubossary, Kupel, Riga and Bendera. It is their story, together with her love of Jewish mythology and fantasy, that inspired her to write The Sisters of the Winter Wood.

This event is organized by the KU Jewish Studies Program. 

Please direct questions to JewishStudies@ku.edu or (785) 864-4664.


Principle funding for this program is provided by The Community Legacy Fund of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Kansas City.


Welcome Professor Zeedan!
The Jewish Studies Program is delighted to welcome Prof. Rami Zeedan as a new faculty member! Prof. Zeedan holds a Ph.D. in Israeli Studies from the University of Haifa in Israel. His research interests include the history of modern Israel, Israeli politics, Middle-Eastern politics, ethnic politics, urban affairs and local governments, and public opinion. This Fall he is teaching courses on Israeli politics and government, and on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 
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