Global Correspondent Report on Israel




Helen Bar-Lev, IL


Poetry News

A REMINDER: the 23rd annual Reuben Rose Poetry Competition is continuing to accept submissions.

Judges: Kenneth Salzmann of USA, poet, reporter, editor, co-author of award winning CHILD OF MY CHILD grandparenting Anthology, Yakov Azriel, last year’s first prize winner and Dina Yehuda, last year’s third prize winner.

First prize - $500, second prize - $150, third prize - $50. Ten honorable mentions. Prizewinners and all honorable mentions will be published in the Voices Israel 2013 Poetry Anthology.

The competition is general and not necessarily on Jewish or Israeli subjects.

Challenging, humorous and/or curious poetry is welcome.

Poems must be unpublished, no more than 40 lines, including stanza breaks but should not include title.

Poems are judged anonymously

Submission period: Competition poems must be received during the period June 1st. 2012 - September 30th. 2012.

Cost: Voices Israel members: US$5.00 for one poem, $10 for 3 poems, $15 for 6 poems. Non members: US$6.00 for one poem, $12 for 3 poems, $18 for 6 poems.

Submission by email only

Payment by PayPal or check

Full guidelines and submission details at 

Last month I mentioned a workshop named Poetry By the Sea. This took place at the Blue Bay Hotel in Netanya from the afternoon of 31 May until noon the 1st of March. An amazing collection of poems was created. On Thursday we heard the audio presentation of Esther Cameron which stimulated us to focus on our most special poems and to write more. Each poet received bound folders prepared by Johnmichael containing Esther Cameron`s presentation (Esther was the judge of the 2011 Reuben Rose competition) and our pre-selected poems to use as inspiration for our writing exercises. On Friday morning, with the help of a printed hand-out, Prof. William Kolbrener took us on a journey through Milton`s Paradise Lost from the viewpoint of religion, love and loss. Again, the positive energy in the room inspired us all to write impressive poems with comments and feedback from Prof. Kolbrener. Some of the poems will be posted on the Voices website and Johnmichael has prepared a chapbook which will be available very soon. – This report prepared by Wendy Blumfield, Voices President.

Voices Israel is expanding. On the 25th of June a new group started in Netanya. On the 28th, a new group in London, UK. If any of Sketchbook’s readers is interested in attending the London group’s monthly meetings, please contact me: 

It is with great sadness that I now inform you of the untimely death of our dear friend and Voices member, Andrea Moriah (Andi), a contributor to the anthology, a prizewinner of many competitions including our annual Reuben Rose competition and a member of the most current Voices editorial board. She had been battling a serious illness for a long time. She always had a smile and beautiful poems and words that made you feel special. We shall miss her terribly. Despite the condition of her health, she attended the Netanya workshop; 2 weeks later she died. This is the poem she read at the workshop, explaining that she had had a stem-cell transplant:

Andrea Moriah (Andi)


Free Verse

Pulp Poetry


My skin no longer stretches
elastic over my bones.
I chalk it up to weird science
and pharmaceuticals, mutated
genes and the garbling of
cell communication - but isn't everything?
It constricts me, holding organs,
muscles, veins, tightly
in its roughened wrap.
I am encased in peeling, flaking,
mummy skeins – I peek through slits
in the wrapping, but you cannot see me.
I am a flaky Peeping Tom. I feel less
heat than you and less wind and less
cold – there is a barrier between
the physical me and the physical world.
I am post-modern, space age, plasticized.
My fingernails are gone.
My fingerprints have been erased.
My facial features have changed.

I am identifiable only by my DNA,
dental records and sense of humor.
Conversely, my intellect and soul feel everything.
Grabbing everything in a greedy childlike grasp.
Know everything, sound, taste, smell, God, nature, people.
I get a glimpse into Stephen Hawking.
He is a giant intellect. What choice does he have?
What choice do I have?
Sequestered here with my soul.
I could peel off all my skin and scabs like an orange
until there is nothing left but pulp.

Andrea Moriah (Andi) sketch by Helen Bar-Lev


Read Helen Bar-Lev's Contributing Editor Interview with Interview with Yosef Gotlieb, IL

Helen Bar-Lev, artist, poet

Senior Editor,
Cyclamens and Swords Publishing

Voices Israel Group of Poets in English

Contributing editor and Global Correspondent,
SKETCHBOOK, A Journal for Eastern and Western Short Forms

International Senior Poet Laureate, 2009
Amy Kitchener Foundation









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