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Sleeping as Fast as I Can with Richard Michelson

Hosted By: Orange County Jewish Community Scholar Program ("CSP")

With humor, anger, and tenderness, Richard Michelson’s poems in his new book – Sleeping as Fast as I Can – explore the boundaries between the personal and the political—and the deep connections between history and memory. Growing up under the shadow of the Holocaust, in a Brooklyn neighborhood consumed by racial strife, Michelson’s experiences were far from ordinary, yet they remain too much a part of the greater circle of poverty and violence to be dismissed as merely private concerns. In this new collection of poems, Michelson pays tribute to his father, a victim of gun violence, and honors his mother’s surrender to dementia. Still, it is Michelson’s sense of humor and acute awareness of Jewish history, with its ancient emphasis on the fundamental worth of human existence, that makes this accessible book, finally, celebratory and life-affirming. Join for a conversation with Richard Michelson about his newest book of poetry, his first full length poetry collection since 2015 (and his first book since winning the National Jewish Book Award for The Language of Angels in 2018).”

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