Rivers of Salt

Shirley Kaufman

The poems of Shirley Kaufman’s sixth collection are “rivers of salt” that cross geographical and cultural boundaries bearing the traces of wounds from difficult relationships. These poems record a life in Israel that has deepened her awareness and added historical weight to her work. 

ISBN: 9781556590559

Format: Paperback

About the Author

A prize-winning American-Israeli, Shirley Kaufman was born in Seattle, Washington, and lived in San Francisco until 1973, when she immigrated to Jerusalem. Eight volumes of her poetry have been published in the United States, including Roots in the Air: New & Selected Poems (1996), Threshold (2003), and Ezekiel’s Wheels (2009), all from Copper Canyon Press. Her Selected Poems, translated into Hebrew by Aharon Shabtai, with Dan Pagis and Dan Miron, was published by the Bialik Institute in Jerusalem in 1995. …

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“Kaufman’s poems work individually, but take on greater power in sequence… The mesh of forms and content throughout this volume is at times astounding.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Years ago I reviewed Shirley Kaufman’s first book and called it ‘vivid and promising.’ Her poems continue to be vivid and the promise has been beautifully fulfilled. Rivers of Salt combines the hard wisdom of a mature, unflinching eye with the pain and insight of exile. This is a fine, evocative book.” —Linda Pastan

“Shirley Kaufman has always been a poet of suave understatement, poignant lucidity, extraordinary telling detail.” —Sandra Gilbert

“Vintage Kaufman. The sensitivity, the sensibility, the mastery that we have learnt to expect are all there. The web of tenuous fine threads, loosely, contingently interwoven, never marshaled or ordered but haphazard and spontaneous as memories, feelings and impulses are still what give the poems, separately and together, the organic unity of a lived life.” —Jerusalem Post

“Not for Kaufman the razzle-dazzle of elaborate word play, or the dagger honing in for the kill. Her poems strive for simplicity and sincerity.” —Israel Review of Arts and Letters

“Kaufman provides tenderness, humor and an eye for detail. Above all, she has a sense of human strengths and failings, and how the pleasures of one are not necessarily diminished by awareness of the other.” —Contemporary Literary Criticism

“Shirley Kaufman is a writer of immense dignity and intelligence.” —The Poetry Center & American Poetry Archives

“These are moving poems… filled with vivid images… Tenderly sharing her mature wisdom, Kaufman’s words invoke stirring insights of personal prophecy, framed by an accomplished ability to capture radiant details.” —San Francisco Bay Guardian

“This is a mature and evocative collection of poems by a writer who draws on a richly varied fund of experience… to ponder all the great human experiences through a wealth of details and personal relationships… [Kaufman] has a gift for the unexpected image… These poems are firmly anchored in place, from Jerusalem to India, and in a very particular experience that touches effortlessly on universals.” —Small Press