Kurland Lounge, Osher Marin Jewish Community Center
200 N San Pedro Rd, San Rafael
Ilya Kaminsky, a Russian Jew, was born in Odessa (in the former Soviet Union) in 1977 and arrived to the United States in 1993, when his family was granted asylum by the American government. He has been awarded both a Guggenheim Fellowship, and Lannan Foundation’s Literary Fellowship.
His last book, Dancing In Odessa (Tupelo Press), which won the Whiting Writer’s Award, the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Metcalf Award, the Dorset Prize, and the Ruth Lilly Fellowship given annually by Poetry magazine.
Poems from his new manuscript, Deaf Republic, were awarded Poetry magazine’s Levinson Prize and the Pushcart Prize. (Kaminsky lost his hearing at an early age.) Recently, he was on the short-list for Neustadt International Literature Prize. His poems have been translated into numerous languages and his books have been published in many countries including Turkey, Holland, Russia, France, Mexico, Macedonia, Romania, Spain and China, where his poetry was awarded the Yinchuan International Poetry Prize.
Heather Altfeld is a poet and essayist. Her first book of poetry, The Disappearing Theatre, won the Poets at Work Prize, selected by Stephen Dunn. Her poems and essays appear in Conjunctions, Narrative Magazine, Pleiades, Poetry Northwest, The Los Angeles Review, and other literary journals. She currently teaches in the Honors Program and for the Comparative Religion and Humanities Department at California State University, Chico.