Karen Alkalay-Gut and Liz Magnes in NY


Ordinarily, I’d rather be in Tel Aviv on any given day in February, but next week the Bowery Poetry Club & Café in New York sounds very tempting. Karen Alkalay-Gut – poet, professor, translator and captivating performer –  and jazz pianist Liz Magnes will present “Muse and Music” on Wednesday, February 3 at 18:00. The Israeli duo create a dialogue of spoken word and jazz in a variety of international subjects and tones, and will be joined by American poet Alicia Ostriker.

Alkalay-Gut was born in London on the last night of the Blitz and grew up in Rochester, New York, moving to Israel in 1972. Poet, author, translator and editor, she teaches poetry at Tel Aviv University, chairs the Israel Association of Writers in English, and is a board member of the Yiddish Writers Association.

Liz Magnes was born in Cincinnatti, moving to Israel in 1968, where the creative pianist/composer performs in clubs, concert halls and jazz festivals. Magnes blends American and Middle Eastern jazz for a world music sound that grooves with Alkalay-Gut’s deep jazzy voice.

Alkalay-Gut’s poetry is unsparing in its honesty, passionate in its involvement with life, funny, intelligent, casual and articulate. The best way to describe her style is with a brief excerpt:

“Belly Dancing – Tel Aviv March 2002”
by Karen Alkalay-Gut

Hakim is singing and I am swinging my cane.
The coins around my hips jingle just
in the right places and deepen the beat.
And I ignore for the moment the way
The chains on the Merchava tanks
going into Kalkilya
jingle just like me.

Midnight East recommends – don’t content yourselves with a brief excerpt – go out to the Bowery on February 3rd!

The Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery, New York, NY 10012
foot of First Street, between Houston & Bleecker
across the street from CBGBs
F train to Second Ave, or 6 train to Bleecker