Jewish Music & Poetry Project

Poets & Musicians

Marcia Falk, poet


Marcia Falk was born and raised in New York, where she attended public school and afternoon Hebrew school during the week and the Art Students League on the weekends.  

She received a B.A. in philosophy magna cum laude from Brandeis University and a Ph.D. in English and comparative literature from Stanford.  She was a Fulbr

Marcia Falk's groundbreaking prayer book, The Book of Blessings: New Jewish Prayers for Daily Life, the Sabbath, and the New Moon Festival (Harper Collins, 1996; paperback edition, Beacon Press, 1999), re-creates Hebrew and English liturgy in poetic forms from a contemporary, gender-inclusive perspective.  Long awaited in many sectors of the Jewish community, The Book of Blessings was the result of thirteen years of research and writing, and includes new blessings, poems, and meditations, accompanied by a commentary intended for general readers as well as scholars.  Reviews of The Book of Blessings have included praise from distinguished author Cynthia Ozick, who wrote, "Marcia Falk's work on Hebrew blessings is as beautiful as it is innovative," and liturgy scholar Rabbi Lawrence Hoffman, who called it "a liturgical and literary masterpiece."  "Falk puts purpose and potency back into prayer," wrote Alisa Solomon in The Village Voiceight Scholar in Bible and Hebrew literature at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and returned there a few years later as a Postdoctoral Fellow.  For fifteen years she was a university professor, teaching Hebrew and English literature, Jewish studies, Bible, and creative writing at Stanford, the State University of New York at Binghamton, and the Claremont Colleges.  Her work has been published widely in magazines and anthologies in the U.S. and abroad.  In addition to pursuing her own poetry, she has devoted her creative energy to discovering and translating old and new voices of other women poets, in particular, those writing in Hebrew and in Yiddish. 

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