DARLING, I USED TO DANCE AT THESE PARTIES
This selection of poems was long listed for the Ivan Juritz Prize. The following words are from Will Eaves’s commendation delivered at the prize-giving event on 23 June 2021:
Eve Grubin’s marvelously titled selection Darling, I Used to Dance at These Parties include tender imagistic poems that owe an avowed debt to Emily Dickinson but which also, and more unusually, marry intimate observation with an interest in Jewish heritage and scriptural authority. Everything in these beautifully observed poems — walking in the park, cooking, eating, watching a man trying to make the bed — has a tender but exegetical quality which reaches deep into the Judeo Christian tradition. The most incidental domesticity is somehow connected to ancient law.
THE HOUSE OF OUR FIRST LOVING
“Unfinished-ness in Art, Judaism and the Poetry of Eve Grubin,” appeared on Sarah Rindner’s blog, The Book of Books: Where Judaism and Literature Meet
Alison Brackenbury’s review of The House of Our First Loving appeared in September – October 2016 issue of PN Review:
From Alison Brackenbury’s review in PN Review:
“I have to come to hope that a Rack Press pamphlet may be a tiny gift-box of unusually good poems. This proved true of Eve Grubin’s chapbook, The House of Our First Loving: ‘a surprise, something delightful!’ One surprise is Grubin’s bold comparison of themes from Jewish religious life, and married love:
How can Rabbi Eliezer be wrong and right?
Darling, when we argue perhaps I am right
Grubin expresses the mysterious reconciliations of marriage beautifully in her straightforward account of dawn: ‘the hour the moon stands in the sky with the sun’.
She is at home with paradox, in the ‘ordered chaos’ of shared books. With the speed that is wit, she flings open the division between the sacred and the mundane, between the Torah and ‘wanting / a parking space’. Her poems can sound like liturgical commands, authoritative, but never authoritarian: ‘Let us hold our hands up to the light.’
Grubin is confident enough to be ‘without certainty’. She often takes the risk of ending a poem with the abbreviations of common speech – ‘loving best what we can’t see’ – as ancient ritual anchors in the freshness of daily living. Her poems hold a deep and unusual charm. In ‘Unfinished’ she describes her husband, whose newly made bed ‘will look lovely / except for a few untucked corners’. It is a poem of wisdom and affection, in which ‘unfinishing creates a longing / for what has not yet happened.’ The House of Our First Loving left this reader longing for more light-filled, surprising work.”
Eve was featured twice in The Jerusalem Report (February 2012 and May 2012)
REVIEWS AND ARTICLES ABOUT MORNING PRAYER:
INTERVIEWS WITH EVE: