Award-Winning Poetry Titles Explore Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, LGBT Experience
LSU Press Releases New Collections from Elana Bell and Bruce Snider
BATON ROUGE – New award-winning poetry collections by Elana Bell and Bruce Snider were released by LSU Press this month.
In the debut collection “Eyes, Stones,” winner of the 2011 Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets, Bell brings her heritage as the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors to consider the difficult question of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The poems invoke characters inexorably linked to the land of Israel and Palestine – like Zosha, a sharp-witted survivor whose burning hope for a Jewish homeland helps her endure the atrocities of the Holocaust. Other poems – inspired by interviews conducted by the poet in Israel, the Palestinian territories and America – examine Jewish and Arab relationships to the land as biblical home, Zionist dream, modern state, and occupied territory.
Bell has conducted poetry workshops for educators, women in prison, and high school students in Israel, Palestine, and throughout the five boroughs of New York City. Her poems have appeared in Harvard Review, Massachusetts Review, CALYX and elsewhere. Bell is the writer-in-residence at the Bronx Academy of Letters and lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Snider’s “Paradise, Indiana,” winner of the Lena-Miles Wever Tood Poetry Prize, envisions a seldom recorded rural America, one where everything exists side by side: the county fair and an abandoned small town gay bar, farmers and cross-dressers, death and hope, beauty and despair. Shaped by the author’s experiences growing up in rural Indiana, Snider investigates the landscapes traditionally claimed by male poets such as James Wright, James Dickey and Richard Hugo, whose visions of place rarely, if ever, included the presence of gays and lesbians.
Snider’s first book, “The Year We Studied Women,” won the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry. His work has appeared in the American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, PN Review and Gettysburg Review. Originally from Indiana, he was a Wallace Stegner fellow and Jones Lecturer at Stanford University, and has been writer-in-residence at both the James Merrill House and Amy Clampitt House. He currently lives in San Francisco.