Tel Aviv Diary - April 30-May 4, 2013 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - April 30-May 4, 2013 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

April 30, 2013

The money-poet issue just won't go away. Benny Ziffer, literary editor of Ha'artz has complained in the paper (not online) that people don't know Sephardic authors because they have been consistently ignored by the establishment. It's a little j'accuse that has made me chuckle all day. After all, he IS the establishment, and he has been publishing primarily Ashkenazi writers, German writers, and himself for as long as I can remember! If this isn't an example of the cultural hypocrisy that has prevented the development of cultural and promoted brain drain, I don't know what is.

What do I mean by cultural brain drain? Don't get me started. The number of amazing writers who never made it into press because they write in a foreign language is an example close to home. Riva Rubin, for example, who has been writing poetry here for well over 50 years, is still publishing, but, as she is coming to the end of her life, has still not received the recognition she deserves for her contribution through literary influence and translation. Shirley Kaufman, who lived here for 40 years, was whisked away to the US after her husband died to be closer to her daughters because of her Alzheimer's but NOBODY NOTICED. In the US she has been known for years but her inability to speak Hebrew isolated her. The literary supplement of Ha'aretz never published a single poem of theirs or any of the linguistic colleagues. Yhis example is also true to hundreds of others - including Mizrachi poets, Russian poets, Arab poets....

May 1, 2013

Here's a poem I've been working on:

On those single moments
When left alone
I used to light a cigarette
I now draw out my phone
and check messages, return texts,
surf the web.

But it doesn't have that same taste

It connects with the world
But not with my own breath
my own self

Hooray for the workers! The older I get the more I am sure that the only way to be a worker is to have a stake in the results and not just a salary. Work satisfaction has to be connected with satisfaction with results, not just salary. So I'm into collective operations

May 2, 2013

I'm up for an award for songwriter in the independent music awards. If you want to vote for "How Many Ways?" click here Actually it's Panic Ensemble, and we're also up for the eclectic awards for "imaginary insects" here

May 3, 2013

Because the weather is so great I've been trying to swim to get over my knee problem. But I must be doing something wrong because it's worse. and i keep bumping into other swimmers no matter how careful i am. But this is the place to be - the sea or the pool.

May 4, 2013

Or bed. Apparently I'm sick again. That's why all the news hasn't had as much attention as it deserves. I'll be back soon.

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