I welcome offers and proposals for commissions and collaborations in all literary, theatre, and television genres, whether fiction, non-fiction or documentary.
The subjects and themes with which I work include but are not limited to:
Jewish Life; Woman/Feminist; Technology/Reproduction/Communication; Memory, Culture, History and Heritage; Immigration, Refugees and Displaced Persons
The following is only a partial list of works that involve one or more of these themes. If you are interested in discussing a commission or collaboration with me, and are interested in reading one or more of the following, please contact me to request and discuss.
to discuss a commission or collaboration.
Yiddish Yoga: Ruthie’s Adventures in Love, Loss, and the Lotus Position (Illustrated humor book)
Born Knowing (Poetry)
I am dirty (Poetry)
Selected chapters from memoir-in-progress, Spit: A Jewish Adopted Woman’s Reckoning with her Refugee Origins, including:
“ISO Susan “
“Meeting Pere Sperm”
Almost Pregnant. Full-length play. Private link to video recorded performance available on request.
Roosevelt’s Guests. Full-length play about the refugee DPs interned in the Fort Ontario Emergency Refugee Shelter, Oswego, NY, August 1944 – January 1946.
SHORT THEATRE PIECES and MONOLOGUES
The Next Right Note: A COVID Chronicle by Ally-Cat Stern
Rebecca Talks With Alexa, or
“I’m sorry there are some things I cannot do yet and explaining why is one of them.”
On Resemblance: No Bridge is an Island
Birth Tale: 1966
Evidence, or Moon Immigrants
Rachel Polanski (A Survivor in the Schools)
My Omama is an Occasional Anti-Semite
Marlene Dietrich Kissed my Grandmother
I Was Lucinda Williams’ Girlfriend
The Rabbi’s Confession
Eddie’s Barber Shop
Shopping at Loehmann’s with Freud
Hari, Figaro and Me: Nothing Something
Dreaming of Exile
Sitting Shiva for Loehmann’s
Sandra (excerpt from Sitting Shiva For Loehmann’s)
Sarah (excerpt from Sitting Shiva For Loehmann’s)
The Prayer Collector
Barren Mother Time
The Gathering At Friendlies
The Society of the Rememberers
The History of Silence
From Here to Maternity
Between an Iceberg and a Hard Place
Searching For Susan - Treatment for a Television Series
Yiddish Yoga: The Musical - Pitch Sheet
Yiddish Yoga – Television Series – Pitch Sheet
Multi-media literary art installations
Gestations of the Cross: An Art Installation
This installation has not yet been exhibited. It would be the first installation to use critical theory, feminist thought, art history, comparative religion, literature and cultural studies--indeed, a fusion of discourses, to produce an innovative art exhibition, both visually and poetically. Gestations of the Cross imagines an infertile woman being almost born, almost pregnant, almost dying, over and over again, as round after round of IVF brings her to her knees.
Gestations of the Cross would be the first art installation of its kind devised by a woman, a poet and professor of Comparative Religion and Cultural Studies, who has gone through the ordeal of infertility. I have approached this installation wanting to conjure a theatrical and meditative space for you to transit and traverse, to walk through, to suspend your own reality, your own subjectivity, to feel what it feels like to bear the cross of infertility.
With these and other stories, plays, poems, monologues and art installations, I am composing a literary oeuvre that is at once intellectual and performative, tragic and comic––jocoserious, to use Joyce’s word, and which wrestles with fundamental questions facing 21st century Jews and women; questions of identity and memory, nature and nurture, sexuality, biology and culture, heritage and transmission. What does it mean to be Jewish, a woman, an artist today? I posit these questions to myself and in my work over and over, turning them again and again, transmuting and translating them through different literary forms and genres. I am that kind of writer who, Elias Canetti wrote, is a “keeper of metamorphoses.”
A child and grandchild of survivors and refugees, I contend with abiding personal and catastrophic loss, with Holocaust memory and history, with how the personal becomes history and history, in turn, becomes personal. For, as (so to speak) a native-immigrant, I am always between memory and history. My poems, especially, are a literary space in which I renew these questions and contentions within myself while turning them into works of imagination. How have Jews lived, how do they now live, between worlds, between cultures? What possibilities and choices of literary vision, forms and subjects, what realms of writing, comic and tragic, do they afford me?
I write with a style that is ironic, tongue-in-cheek and feminist, and that can always elicit laughter and the unexpected insight from quintessentially ethical, profoundly philosophical questions, as well as from the perennial, universally unanswerable questions. “Not knowing is most intimate,” yes, and very funny too! As is Keats’ “negative capability.” As is Zbigniew Herbert’s “uncertain clarity.” And in my literary laughter, like the character in my poem “Eve Writ’s Travels,” I am neither young nor old. I too wait to womb the world.