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Local Author Day

Date: February 7, 2021Time: 11:00 am

Meet the Local Authors for this year's Virtual Cleveland Jewish Book Festival!

Jill Bialosky's newest volume of poetry is Asylum: A Personal, Historical, Natural Inquiry in 103 Lyric Sections. She is the author of five acclaimed collections of poetry, three critically acclaimed novels, most recently, The Prize, and a two memoirs, Poetry Will Save Your Life and New York Times bestselling memoir History of a Suicide: My Sister’s Unfinished Life. Her poems and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s, O Magazine, The Kenyon Review, Harvard Review, and Paris Review among others. She co-edited with Helen Schulman the anthology, Wanting a Child. She is an Executive Editor and Vice President at W. W. Norton & Company. In 2014 she was honored by the Poetry Society of America for her distinguished contribution to poetry.

Sean Martin has served as Associate Curator for Jewish History at Western Reserve Historical Society in Cleveland, Ohio, since 2005. He is the author of Jewish Life in Cracow, 1918-1939 (Vallentine Mitchell, 2004) and A Stitch in Time: The Cleveland Garment Industry (Western Reserve Historical Society, 2015). He is also the author and editor of For the Good of the Nation: Institutions for Jewish Children in Interwar Poland (Academic Studies Press, 2017). Cleveland Jews and the Making of a Midwestern Community, a volume of essays Martin co-edited with John J. Grabowski, was published in February 2020 by Rutgers University Press.

Bob Abelman has been recognized as the "Best Critic in Ohio" by the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists and the Press Club for his work as the theater critic and entertainment feature writer for the Cleveland Jewish News. He is also a Professor Emeritus at Cleveland State University and a professional actor who, as a younger man, appeared on Broadway and so far off-Broadway it was Connecticut.  Bob lives in Chagrin Falls with his wife, Judy.

Book Synopsis: “What if you wrote a series of articles about what takes place on the other side of the proscenium arch while in an actual production?” proposed Mark, the Assistant Managing Editor of the weekly Cleveland newspaper that hired me as its theater critic. “You know, do a Plimpton.”  So begins this fictional memoir about an intriguingly flawed Jewish protagonist who gets cast in a top-tier production of As You Like It with the intent of driving up his paper’s readership, overcoming a mind-numbing fear of Shakespeare, and sharing the stage with actors he has panned in the past. This novella, All The World's A Stage Fright, offers a good laugh at a time when we need it most.

Patricia Averbach is the former director of the Chautauqua Writers’ Center in Chautauqua, New York. Hear her speak about her latest book, Resurrecting Rain. Her first novel, Painting Bridges, was described as “introspective, intelligent and moving.” Her poetry chapbook, Missing Persons, received the London based Lumen/Camden award in 2013 and was selected by the Times of London Literary Supplement as one of the best short collections of the year. Other previous work includes a memoir about her early career as Anzia Yezierska’s sixteen year old literary assistant and an article about the Jewish community in a virtual world called, Second Life. Her writing has appeared in Lilith Magazine, Margie, The Muse, and The Blue Angel Review.

Book Synopsis: . Deena's house is being auctioned at a sheriff's sale while her marriage is falling apart. As her life unravels, her thoughts return to the New Moon Commune outside Santa Fe where she was born, and to Rain, the lesbian mother she had abandoned at fourteen. No one, not even her husband and children, know about New Moon or that she sat Shiva for Rain in exchange for living in her Orthodox grandmother's house in an upscale suburb of Cleveland. Deena's story unfolds with empathy and wit as a cascade of disasters leaves this middle aged librarian unmoored from her home and family, penniless and alone on the streets of Sarasota, Florida.

Deborah J. Cohan, Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of South Carolina Beaufort, is the author of Welcome to Wherever We Are: A Memoir of Family, Caregiving, and Redemption.  A public sociologist, she writes for Psychology Today, is a frequent contributor to  Inside Higher Ed, and is regularly featured in national media including: CNN, MSN,  Teen Vogue, USA Today, US News & World Report, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.  Cohan is trained in mindfulness and healing work, and facilitates Deep River workshops. You can learn more about her at  www.deborahjcohan.com