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Dina Ripsman Eylon Is Interviewed by Anna Faktorovich, Editor-in-Chief of the Pennsylvania Literary Journal

Dina Ripsman Eylon Is Interviewed by Anna Faktorovich, Editor-in-Chief of the Pennsylvania Literary Journal

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Published by Dina Ripsman Eylon
In this special issue of PLJ (Spring 2011), a number of editors, including Dina Ripsman Eylon are discussing their craft.
In this special issue of PLJ (Spring 2011), a number of editors, including Dina Ripsman Eylon are discussing their craft.

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Published by: Dina Ripsman Eylon on Jun 04, 2011
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Pl.J
Spring
2011
DinaRipsmanEylon
47
InterviewwithDr.DinaRipsmanEylon,Editorofthe
WomeninJudaism:AMultidisciplinaryJournal
By:AnnaFaktorovich,Editor-in-Chief
Dr.DinaRipsmanEylonhasaPhDinPost-biblicalHebrewLanguageandLiter-aturefromtheUniversityofToronto.Forthepast14years,shehasservedasthepublisherandeditor-in-chiefof
WomeninJudaism:AMultidisciplinaryJournal.
Inherbook
ReincarnationinJewishMysticismandGnos-tism
(2003),Ey10nexaminesthedevelopmentoftheconceptofreincarnation,gilgul,inthefirstkabbalisticworkthatdealswiththetopic,thelate-12th-century
Seferha-Bahir
(TheBookofClarity).SomeofEylou'sarticlesappearedin
TheOxfordEncyclopediaofAmericanLiterature,AmericanWritersClassics,EncyclopediaofRape,Kinesis,Ameri-canNationalBiography,
and
Reader'sGuidetoJudaism.
DinaisthefounderoftheVaughanPoets'Circle.Herpoemswerepub-lishedinvariousmagazinesandjournalsandinvariousantholo-gies.Herchapbook
SongsofLoveandMisgivings
waspublishedinSeptember2006andin2007,sheeditedacollectionofpoemsentitled
WagingChange:VaughanPoetsEngageinPolitics.
In2010,Dina'ssecondchapbook
IntheHeartoftheCity
waspub-lishedbySisterhoodPress.
In
2011,shepublishedtwopoetrycol-lections
OntheHorizonintheFirstPerson
(Hebrew)and
TheHeartoftheCityandOtherUrbanPoems.
 
48
DinaRipsmanEylonFaktorovich
Faktorovich:
Howdidyoufirstcomeupwiththeideaofcreatingajournalon
WomeninJudaism?
Wasitinspiredbyaspecificeventinyourlifeorcareer?
EyIon:
TheideatostartanacademicjournalonJewishwomencametomewhileresearchingRachelYanaitBenZvi,ManiaShochatandNetivaBenYehudaforanarticleonwomeninthemilitaryinpre-stateIsrael.Suddenlyitdawnedonmethatdespitethefactthatthesewomenwereinstrumentalinmilitaryorganiza-tionsbeforetheestablishmentoftheJewishstate,nothingaboutthemwasmentionedinhistorybooksortextbooksontheperiod.GrowingupinIsraelduringthe1960sand1970s,Iwasnotawareofanyofthesewomen,exceptforRachelYanaitBenZvi,(thewifeofthesecondpresidentofIsrael)eventhoughduringthistimeinNorthAmerica,theSecondWaveofthefeministmove-mentwastakingshape.Thisrealizationhitmehard.IdecidedthatIneededtotakesomeactiontomendthesituation.
Faktorovich:
Areyouconsideringstartinganewjournalforpoet-icworksnowthatyouhavepublishedseveralpoetrybooksinthelastfewyears?
It
lookslikeyoustartedincludingmorepoetryandshortstoriesinthemorerecentissues.
EyIon:
No.However,Istartedanewpublishingenterprise,asmallpress-SisterhoodPress.ThisisaCanadiansmallpressthatspe-cializesinchapbooksandbooksofpoetry,prose,andnon-fiction.(www.sisterhoodpress.com)
Faktorovich:
Howdidyoufirststart
WomeninJudaism?
Didyouwinagranttodevelopthewebsite?Didyouhavehelpwiththebusinesssideordidyoubuildthejournalonyourownfundingandefforts?
EyIon:
Inearly1997,whiledrivingthroughthecitystreetsofTo-ronto,theideatostartanacademicjournaloccurredtome.Forlackoffinancialresources,publishinginprintformatwasoutofthequestion.Moreover,aprintjournalofferslimitedaccessibility.[Aprintjournalwith500subscribersisconsideredahugesue-cess.]Epiphanyornot,atthetimeIwaspursuingmydoctoralstudiesattheUniversityofToronto,soItookadvantageofitsfree
 
PLJSpring2011
DinaRipsmanEylon
49
webresources.Iknewthatanelectronicjournalcouldofferacces-sibilitytoafarlargeraudience,potentiallymillionsofpeople
worldwide.Ipersonallyfinancedthejournal'swebdesignonour
oldsite.
Faktorovich:
AsanativeIsraeliandconsideringthetopicthejournalcovers,didyouconsidercreatingajournalthatwaswrittenprimarilyinHebrew?Ifnot,whynot?
Eylon:
IneverconsideredcreatingandpublishingaHebrewjour-nal.WhenIarrivedinCanadain1980topursuemygraduatestud-ies,IlearnedthatbeingaJewishwomanwasnotlimitedtobeingsecularorreligious,IsraelinativeorbeingbornJewish.Jewishidentitywasnotinherentbutactually,aproductofaperson'sself-searchordesiretobelong.
It
wasimportanttometoempowerJewishwomenintheDiaspora,tobringthemclosertothevarietyoflIebrewScripturesthatIamfamiliarwith.
Faktorovich:
TellusabitaboutwhatitwaslikefoundingandchairingtheVaughanPoets'Circle.Whatarethechallenges,re-sponsibilities,triumphsofrunningapoetrycircle?Wouldyourec-ommendstartingapoetrygrouptoacademicsaroundtheworldwhoarepassionateaboutpoetry?Isitamajorcommitment?
Eylon:
EstablishingtheVaughanPoetryCirclewaspossiblebe-causetherewasaneedforitinmycommunity.Withoutthesup-portofmylocallibrary,thegroupwouldnothavesurvived.Theyprovidedafreeroomonceamonth,andevenrefreshments.Sinceitsinception,membershavepublishedtheirworkinmajorliterarymagazinesandfull-lengthpoetrycollections.
In
addition,thegrouppublishedtwoanthologies.Thisgrouphadlittletodowithmyacademicbackground.
It
stemmedfrommyloveforpoetryandthecreativearts.
Faktorovich:
Whatdoestheterm"progressive"inrelationtothePoets'Circlemeantoyou?Whatdoyouthinkdefines"progressive"poetry?
Eylon:
"Progressive"formemeansbreakingawayfrompoeticstructures,literaryconventions,andaspecificideology.

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