855 Linden Ave.
Carpinteria, CA 93013

Steven Sher Workshop & Reading

Wednesday, November 07, 2018 at 05:00 PM — 09:30 PM
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We are honored to have STEVEN SHER, internationally recognized author of 15 books and teacher of poetry and prose, at the Lynda Fairly Carpinteria Arts Center. 

On November 7th, he will lead an afternoon poetry workshop (4:00-5:30PM) followed by an evening reading from his recent works (7:00-8:30PM); it will surely be a thought provoking, interesting, and enjoyable time. 

The day is sponsored by local poet Glenna Luschei - what an incredible opportunity for our small-town arts center!

His work centers on prayer and ritual (Jewish), spiritual, holiness and healing, nature, family, and communal themes.

Carpinteria is being included in his coast-to-coast literary tour, as he visits the United States from his home in Israel.

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Steven will be recognized as the recipient of the 2018 Glenna Luschei Distinguished Poet Award to be given in conjunction with the 35thAnnual San Luis Obispo Poetry Festival which runs on two consecutive weekends in November. 

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Glenna Luschei reads at the San Luis Obispo Poetry Festival - Photo courtesy of Festival

“Throughout these quiet, loving and humorous poems about a father, the reader comes to know why such a person ensures the survival of the generation…a deeply felt spiritual exploration.” Glenna Luschei 

“(Sher’s poems) are driven by a considerable spiritual depth…(and are) of that tradition in English poetry reaching from Donne to Hopkins to Vassar Miller.” Tom Ferté‚Äč

"I was moved by the accumulating weight of a world—a world densely populated, keenly observed...the street-life of Brooklyn of the '40s and '50s, the culture of East European Jews...." Marc Kaminsky

“Wise without being bitter, simple without being naïve—these are tales you’ll read to your children with a little shiver, the way the great family stories are read.” Joanne Greenberg



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Born in Brooklyn, NY, Steven made aliyah five years ago, and now lives in Jerusalem with his wife near his children and grandchildren. 

Since the 1970s, his poetry and prose have appeared in hundreds of journals worldwide; he has worked as an editor, media consultant and journalist. 

He has taught at many universities since 1977 (e.g., Brooklyn College, Yeshiva University, Oregon State University, University of Oregon, Willamette University, Western Oregon University, University of North Carolina-Wilmington, Spalding University, Manhattan College).   

He has lectured widely on writing and has led many workshops (e.g., The Hudson Valley Writers’ Center, Poets House, San Luis Obispo Poetry Festival, Coos Head Writers Workshop, Tumble Words, Catskill Poetry Festival, The Rural Readers Project [poetry in the schools], NEA’s Creativity & Aging Initiative). 

His writing (primarily poetry, short fiction, folktales, satire and features) has appeared in hundreds of publications worldwide and in 15 books including, most recently, Grazing on Stars: Selected Poems (Presa Press, 2012), The House of Washing Handsabout Jewish life in the Pacific Northwest, (Pecan Grove Press, 2014), and Uncharted Waters (New Feral Press, 2017). 

Some of the publications that have accepted his work include Confrontation, European Judaism, The Georgia Review, The Greenfield Review, The Jerusalem Review, Kansas Quarterly, The Louisville Review, The Midwest Quarterly, Mudfish, The Nebraska Review, Poet Lore, Prairie Schooner, Santa Barbara Review, Solo, Talking River Review, Tar River Poetry, Tiferet, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Witness.

His work has been featured by Symphony Space (Selected Shorts) and Poetry In Motion, and was an Oregon Book Awards finalist.  



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KGB Bar Reading Series - Photo courtesy of KGB Bar & Lit Mag Facebook

10/29/18 – Reading at KGB Monday Night Poetry Series – hosted by KGB, 85 E. 4thStreet, New York NY  http://www.kgbbar.com  

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Brooklyn Bridge - Image Credit Wix

10/31/18 – Reading at Brooklyn's Green Pavilion Series – hosted by The Green Pavilion Restaurant, 4307 18th Ave, Brooklyn NY  

11/04/18 – Workshop and Reading at Beyond Baroque – hosted Beyond Baroque, 681 Venice Blvd, Venice CA http://beyondbaroque.org  

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Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center - Photo courtesy of Beyond Baroque Facebook

11/07/18 – Workshop and Reading – hosted by the Lynda Fairly Carpinteria Arts Center, 865 Linden Avenue, Carpinteria CA   https://www.carpinteriaartscenter.org

11/08/18 – Poetry Event – hosted by the E.P. Foster Library, 651 East Main Street, Ventura CA  https://www.vencolibrary.org  

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At the E.P. Foster Library - Photo courtesy of E.P. Foster Library Facebook

11/11/18Reading – hosted by the San Luis Obispo Poetry Festival (Coalesce Bookstore, 845 Main St, Morro Bay CA http://coalescebookstore.com 

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Coalesce Bookstore, Morro Bay CA - Photo courtesy of Coalesce Bookstore website



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Uncharted Waters - Steven Sher


Book published in 2017.  

In this special collection, focusing on care giving, aging, and illness, the deeper meanings of healing are explored.

“Now when nothing that we hear

seems real and little of what

we see makes sense, the promise

of the world begins to close up

like harsh light shrunk to a pinhole

and yet on the other side,

if we would only dare to look,

hope’s blinding light is like

the back of God that Moses saw…” 


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Photo courtesy of The Jewish Writing Project Facebook

From The Jewish Writing Project 



Our van winds through the narrow streets

and splits the crowds that choke the way.

The Arab children after school seek shortcuts

past the Jewish plots–whole sections overrun

with broken stones. Windshield grating,

front and rear, guards against large rocks

that can be hurled at passing cars.

We are targets in our own land.

It is the day before Tu b’Shevat,

a season of renewal, a time of growth—

the first flowers bloom in the city below.

When we find the Arab caretaker, he leads us

to the gravesite and asks for too much money,

but we don’t bargain with our dead before us.

Like Abraham for Machpelah, we pay full price.

He scrubs the stone with brush and water.

More Arab boys pass through the lane.

An old woman and her daughter appear

in the section next to where we stand

reciting Psalms. In his year in the earth

her husband has prepared a place

for their eternal home. She says it feels

more like home than Brooklyn.

Returning to our van, we meet a group

on foot breathing hard. Alarmed

there’s been a new attack, the road

exposed below, we gird ourselves

for a hail of rocks on our descent. 


From Young Ravens Literary Review  



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Young Ravens Literary Review - WInter 2017

When sirens shake the city's calm,
we descend three flights, grandkids in arm,
to join our neighbors in the basement shelter;
imagine rockets climbing the Judean hills
will pull us from this life like bodies from rubble.
In the crowded shelter, parents stand
and calmly talk along the walls. Children
in pajamas playing, some barefoot
on the cold cement, claim the center space.
Older siblings hold the very young.
When the time is almost up, some restless
boys have made a game of jumping,
seeing who can touch the ceiling--
pretend they’re intercepting missiles,
crushing our fears with their bare hands.