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Borrowed Language: The Cento and the Piyyut

May 15, 2023 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm EDT


As Jewish writers, we inherit an ocean of text with which to be in relationship. How can we make creative use of our lineage as People of the Book and play with the language we’ve been given? In this generative workshop, we will explore two poetic forms of ancient origins: the Cento (Latin for patchwork) and the Piyyut (Hebrew for storytelling, a liturgical poem), which both borrow heavily, sometimes entirely, from pre-existing textual materials in order to create something new. We’ll read classical and contemporary examples of these forms and explore what they share. Participants will be guided through writing exercises, leaving with at least one new poem draft of their own.

headshot of monica gomery Mónica Gomery is a rabbi and poet. Her work explores queerness, diaspora, ancestry, theology, and cultivating courageous hearts. Her second poetry collection, Might Kindred, won the 2021 Prairie Schooner Raz-Shumaker Book Prize and is forthcoming from the University of Nebraska Press, fall 2022. She is the author of the poetry collection Here is the Night and the Night on the Road and the chapbook Of Darkness and Tumbling. Mónica serves as a rabbi at Kol Tzedek Synagogue and on the faculty of SVARA: A Traditionally Radical Yeshiva and is also a co-founder of Let My People Sing!

The session will be recorded and sent to participants. We encourage live attendance for you to get the most out of the experience.

We are happy to offer this session for free. A suggested $18 donation has been added to the ticket. If you are unable to donate, you may remove that suggested amount from the ticket. Please consider donating if you’re able, to help us continue to offer free programs like this one.


May 15, 2023
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm EDT
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Mónica Gomery

The Reconstructionist Network

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