Overview of My Work

I am a teacher, widely published essayist and poet, literary scholar, and nationally known speaker on transgender issues. In fall 2019, Keshet recognized my work with a Hachamat Lev award. In April 2020, I began a weekly conversation show, “Containing Multitudes,” discussing identity, religion, and literature with a wide-range of guests (recordings available at the link above).

For recent and selected videos of talks and readings, including my TEDx talk, “Ain’t I a Woman?“, my “On Being” interview with Krista Tippett, and Beyond the Tower of Babel: A New Approach to Inclusive Policy,” a webinar offered through the Sol Price School of Public Policy of the University of Southern California, click here.

I am the author of eleven books, including the revised second edition of The Book of Anna (EOAGH, 2021);  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 WeeklyThrough 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 two Hadassah Brandeis Institute Research fellowships.

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 joyladin@gmail.com if you are interested in engaging me as a speaker. For details about and examples of my work, please click on the relevant tabs.



Comments on: "Overview of My Work" (7)

  1. Ryan Jeanes said:

    Hey Joy, Just read your poem: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/152965/forgetting-5e66c0adce9f7

    That was awesome. I couldn’t help but wonder if you had been a caretaker for someone who went through something similar? Not to pry, I just thought that that was a work of art. – Ryan


    • Thank you, Ryan! Your intuition is right – the poem was inspired by an awful night in the emergency room with my mother, who has dementia. Best, Joy


  2. Rachel Parsons said:

    Hi Joy,
    Your poem “A Friendly Visit with God” in SDI’s Presence was so moving, relatable, and clever. I’ve been sharing it with all my directees. Thank you for this gift.


  3. Ana Joanes said:

    Hi Joy, Thank you for your many many contributions to the world! I’m creating a children’s comic book anthology, short stories of trans people illustrated by trans artists. Would you be interested in being profiled? Please feel free to email me at anasofiajoanes@gmail.com


  4. Jeff Leighton said:

    Joy, just finished your essay “This Consciousness that is aware” from Wider than the Sky. Brilliant, is all I can say! Of all the literary criticism of Emily Dickinson that I have read so far, your essay is by far the most cogent and accessible. You have reached into the heart of her. And I think you need to add one more subtitle: “Why Poetry”. From one reviewer of Heidegger, “Humans are beings in language”. Discovered Emily while in Panama City Beach. Sat on the beach every afternoon at 4 and was transported to another world! Jeff Leighton


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