Sunday, May 1st at 4:00pm
Speaker: Zackary Sholem Berger, author of One Nation Taken Out of Another
Included with Museum admission
As the author of two books of poetry which combine English, Yiddish, and Hebrew, written from the point of view of the poet himself; Biblical characters; dead literary titans; and [batting cleanup] The Almighty, Berger presents a one-of-a-kind monologue-cum-performance, a polylingual ventriloquy bringing the past and present together for a dance to the music of language.
His newest book, One Nation Taken Out of Another, is a joyride through the Five Books of Moses on the back of a strange chimeria — with an American head, a Yiddish heart, and all manner of multicultural, bassackward, and wandering limbs grafed on to the whole. It’s midrash and whimsy, Bible, tradition, exile, and mystery.
On the way, many questions will be asked – and some of them even answered. How does a non-ultra-Orthodox guy from a Conservative Jewish background come to be a Yiddish poet and translator? Is he a complete fluke, or a harbinger of some baffling microtrend? How did Baltimore become an unlikely mini-capital of secular Yiddish culture? And is it true what they say about Old Bay?
Zackary Sholem Berger is a poet, translator, and short story writer in Baltimore. He writes in Yiddish and English, and sometimes Hebrew, appreciating the fruitful predicament of being a minority-language poet very late (or surprisingly early) in Jewish history. He speaks Yiddish to his wife and three children. And sometimes they answer.