Past Visiting Writers

Rachel Tzvia Back, a poet and translator, wrote Azimuth (Sheep Meadow Press) and The Buffalo Poems (Duration Press). Back's translations of Hebrew poetry have appeared in The Defiant Muse: Hebrew Feminist Poetry from Antiquity to the Present (The Feminist Press) and Lea Goldberg: Selected Poetry and Drama (Toby Press).  She is the author of  Led by Language: the Poetry and Poetics of Susan Howe (University of Alabama Press).  

Jane Bernstein is the author of five books, most recently Rachel in the World.  Her essays and articles have appeared widely in The New York Times Magazine, Ms., Creative Nonfiction and the Massachusetts Review.

Peter Brickelbank has published fiction in The Alaska Quarterly Review, The American Voice, Carolina Quarterly, Mid-American Review, Kansas Quarterly, Confrontation, Fiction, Florida Review, Global City Review, and elsewhere.  His nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times Book Review, the American Book Review, The Chicago Tribune, The Minnesota Review, ACM (Another Chicago Magazine), and others.

Melvin Jules Bukiet, novelist and literary critic, wrote  Sandman's Dust, After, While the Messiah Tarries, Signs and Wonders, Strange Fire, and A Faker's Dozen. He edited the collections Neurotica: Jewish Writers on Sex, Nothing Makes You Free, and Scribblers on the Roof.  

Tony Eprile is the author of Temporary Sojourner and Other South African Stories (1989), which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and The Persistence of Memory (2004), which won the Koret Jewish Book Award, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. ,

Jennie Feldman, a poet and translator, is the author of The Lost Notebook (Anvil Press, 2005), which was shortlisted for the Glen Dimplex Poetry Award (Dublin, 2006) and Treading Lightly (Anvil Press, 2005), a volume of translations of French poet Jacques Réda. She co-authored the bilingual anthology Into the Deep Street: Seven Modern French Poets, 1938-2008 (Anvil Press 2009).

Assaf Gavron is an Israeli writer and translator. He is the author of five novels (IceMovingAlmost DeadHydromania and The Hilltop), a short story collection (Sex in the Cemetery) and a collection of newspaper columns (Eating Standing Up). His fiction was translated into many languages and adapted to the stage and cinema. He is the winner of several awards including the Israeli Prime Minister's Creative Award for Authors, Buch fuer die Stadt in Germany, and Prix Courrier International in France. Gavron is responsible for the highly-regarded English-to-Hebrew translations of J.D. Salinger’s Nine Stories, Philip Roth’s Portnoy’s Complaint and Jonathan Safran Foer’s novels. His latest novel, The Hilltop, was published by Scribner's in the US in 2014.

Atar Hadari is a playwright, poet, journalist, translator and author of short stories. His works include Songs from Bialik: Selected Poems (Syracuse University Press, 2000) and a play, The Jewish Piano. 

Allen Hoffman, Permanent Writer-In-Residence at Bar-Ilan between 2002 and 2011, when he retired, is the author of Kagan's Superfecta and Other Stories, and the three novels in the Small World Series:  Small Worlds; Big League Dreams; and Two for the Devil. Hoffman served as Acting Director of the Rudoff Program from 2007-2011.

Zvi Jagendorf is the author of Wolfy and the Strudelbakers.  

Rachel Kadish is the author of the novels, From a Sealed Room and Tolstoy Lied:  a Love Story.  Her short fiction and essay have been read on NPR and has appeared in many literary magazines and prize-winning anthologies. (Click here for links to her writing.)  She is a graduate of Princeton University, and holds an M.A. in creative writing from New York University.  She has been a fiction fellow at Harvard/Radcliffe’s Bunting Institute and a resident at the Yaddo and MacDowell colonies, a fellow of the National Endowment for the Arts and of the Massachusetts Cultural Council.  She’s won the John Gardner Fiction Award and was the 2005 Koret Writer in Residence at Stanford University. She has been a Visiting Scholar at the Brandeis Women’s Studies Research Center and is on the writing faculty of Lesley University’s MFA Program in Creative Writing. 

Joan Leegant is the author of a novel, Wherever You Go, and a story collection, An Hour in Paradise, which won the PEN/New England Book Award, the Edward Lewis Wallant Award for Jewish Fiction, and was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award. Recent work has appeared in The Literarian, The Normal School and Colorado Review, where it was awarded the Nelligan Prize for Fiction and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Bret Lott's novels include A Song I Knew By Heart, The Man Who Owned Vermont, A Stranger's House, Jewel (an Oprah Book Club selection), Reed's Beach, How to Get Home, The Hunt Club, and A Dream of Old Leaves. He wrote Fathers, Sons and Brothers, a memoir

Risa Miller first novel, Welcome to Heavenly Heights (St. Martin‘s Press, 2003), won the PEN New England Discovery Award and became a New York Times New and Noteworthy Paperback in 2004.  My Before and After Life (St. Martin’s Press, 2010) is her second novel. 

Mark Mirsky's books  include Diaries: Robert Musil 1899-1942; Dante, Eros and Kabalah;  My Search for the Messiah; Blue Hill Avenue, A Novel; The Red Adam and Absent Shakespeare.

Jon Papernick's short story collections are The Ascent of Eli Israel andThere Is No Other. His first novel is Who by Fire, Who by Blood. 

Joseph Skibell's  debut novel, A Blessing on the Moon, received the  Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Turner Prize for First Fiction from the Texas Institute of Letters. A Book of the Month Club selection, the book was named one of the year's best by Publishers Weekly, Le Monde and, and has been translated into half a dozen languages. Skibell's second novel  The English Disease, received the Jesse H. Jones Award from the Texas Institute of Letters. Skibell's third novel, A Curable Romantic, was published in  2010. 

Steve Stern, novelist and short-story writer, is the author of Lazar Malkin Enters Heaven, for which he received the Edward Lewis Wallant Award for Jewish American fiction, The Wedding Jester, which won the National Jewish Book Award, Isaac and the Undertaker's Daughter, Pushcart Writer's Choice Award, The Angel of Forgetfulness and most recently, The Frozen Rabbi.

Sarah Van Arsdale's novels include Grande Isle, Blue, and Towards Amnesia

Jonathan Wilson is the author of two novels The Hiding Room and A Palestine Affair, two collections of short stories, Schoom and An Ambulance is on the Way: Stories of Men in Trouble and two critical works on the fiction of Saul Bellow. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Best American Short Stories, New York Times Book Review, TLS, The Forward and elsewhere.

Other Guest Speakers and Lecturers:  Michael Collier, Pearl Abraham, Alan Lelchuk, Daniel Mendelsohn, E. Ethelbert Miller, Eva Hoffman, Aryeh Lev Stollman, Rebecca Goldstein, Etgar Keret, Howard Schwartz, Peninnah Schram, Michal Govrin, Alicia Ostriker, Joseph Lowin, Karen Alkalay-Gut, Dara Horn, Rodger Kamenetz, Zali Gurevitch, David Bezmozgis, Rivka Miriam, Shirley Kaufman, Elisa Albert, Matt Beynon Rees, Nathan Englander, Dorit Rabinyan, Marita Golden, Aharon Appelfeld, Sasson Somekh, Livia Bitton-Jackson, Carmit Delman, Charles Fishman, Peter Cole, Gerald Lee Gutkind, Ehud Havazelet, Clive Sinclair, Elana Feldman, Adina Hoffman, Kevin Haworth, Dr. Yudit Frigyesi, Rob Cohen, Roya Hakakian, Ayelet Tsabari, David Kaplan, David Bezmozgis.