I am a teacher, widely published essayist and poet, literary scholar, and nationally known speaker on transgender issues. (My TEDx talk, “Ain’t I a Woman?”, can be viewed here. My newly rebroadcast “On Being” interview with Krista Tippett can be accessed here.) In fall 2019, Keshet recognized my work with a Hachamat Lev award.
I am the author of eleven books, including 2018’s The Soul of the Stranger: Reading God and Torah from a Transgender Perspective (Brandeis UP), a finalist for both a Lambda Literary Award and Triangle Award that received a starred review in Publishers Weekly; Through the Door of Life, a memoir of gender transition that was a finalist for a National Jewish Book Award and winner of a Forward Fives Award; and nine books of poetry, including last year’s The Future is Trying to Tell Us Something: New and Selected Poems (Sheep Meadow Press) and Fireworks in the Graveyard (Headmistress Press), Forward Fives award winner Coming to Life, and two Lambda Literary Award finalists, Transmigration and Impersonation. I have been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts writing fellowship and a Hadassah Brandeis Institute Research fellowship. (You can hear me reading poetry at Poets House in NYC in summer 2018 here – my part begins around minute 56 – and a poetry reading I did for high school students at Westminster School in Simsbury, CT here – my part starts around minute 6.)
I hold a Ph.D. in American Literature from Princeton University, where I was awarded the Porter Ogden Jacobus Fellowship as top graduate student in the Humanities, an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Massachusetts (Amherst), and a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College. Since 2003, I have held the David and Ruth Gottesman Chair in English at Stern College of Yeshiva University. My scholarly work has been supported by a Fulbright Scholarship and an American Council of Learned Societies Research Fellowship. (You can find links to my dissertation, “Soldering the Abyss: Emily Dickinson and Modern American Poetry,” as well as essays on poetry and transgender issues on my page on Academia.edu.)
Since coming out as transgender in 2008, I have become a nationally recognized speaker on transgender issues. I have been featured in many National Public Radio interviews, most notably “On Being with Krista Tippett,” which has been rebroadcast three times, as well as numerous interviews and profiles in numerous publications.
I have given invited talks and readings at many universities and colleges, including Harvard, Columbia, Princeton, Boston University, George Washington University, the University of Arizona, the University of Connecticut, the University of San Francisco, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College. (Here is a link to a talk I gave at Hebrew College: docs.google.com/file/d/0Bz2ZlrMDNbY1Z0p5Wm1vWVA1ams/edit.)
I have also been a featured speaker outside academia, including delivering keynote talks at the 21st World Congress of LGBT Jews, and the 2015 Asanbe Diversity Symposium at Austin Peay State University. I have spoken to dozens of Jewish communities around the country, and served as scholar-in-residence at a number of synagogues. I am a member of the Board of Keshet, a national organization devoted to full inclusion of LGBTQ Jews in the Jewish world.
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in engaging me as a speaker. For details about and examples of my work, please click on the relevant tabs.