About The Authors - Issue 28


Barbara L. Baer has lived, traveled, and taught in India and the former USSR before settling in rural northern California, where she continued to teach and write. She has four novels in print, the most recent (2020) The Ice Palace Waltz, a Jewish family story spanning centuries. Her journalism, essays, reviews and stories have appeared in various publications from The Nation to Redbook. She started Floreant Press to publish local women writers and ended up publishing a Russian, Dr. Gregory Levin, whose Pomegranate Roads: A Soviet Botanist's Exile from Eden has readers worldwide.  

Katherine Berlatsky is a 19-year-old junior at Vanderbilt University, majoring in English (Creative Writing) and minoring in Spanish. She is from South Florida, and spends most of her free time writing and playing Dungeons & Dragons. This is her first publication.

Abigail Beshkin is a writer and editor living in New York City. A graduate of Columbia University School of Journalism, she spent almost a decade as a reporter and producer for public radio stations in Phoenix and Boston, and her work has been heard nationally on NPR, among other places. Her fiction and personal essays have appeared in The ForwardUniversal Hub, and Submerging, and she has participated in the Bloom Reading Series, which she also curates; the Eagle and the Wren reading series; and the popular storytelling show and podcast “Soundtrack Series.” She has been a finalist in the Brooklyn Nonfiction Prize competition and the Between the Vines and Cuttyhunk writer’s residencies, and has studied with the writer Hannah Tinti, among others. She is the editor of Columbia Business, the magazine of Columbia Business School.

Irena Dousková is a novelist, poet, playwright, and screenwriter. At home and abroad, she is best known for her tragicomic trilogy: B. Proudew (translated by Melvyn Clarke, Pálava Publishing, 2016), Oněgin Was a Rusky (translated by Melvyn Clarke, Pálava Publishing, 2018), and Darda (as yet untranslated into English). She is the author of ten books of fiction, and more than 100,000 copies of her books have been sold in the Czech Republic alone. Her books have appeared (or are due to appear) in 15 languages. Irena Dousková was born in 1964 in Příbram. She graduated from the Faculty of Law at Charles University, but never entered the legal profession. She has worked for the most part as a journalist, as well as a librarian and a dramaturge at a cultural centre. Since 2006 she has made a living from writing books, dramas and filmscripts. She lives in Prague. More about the author and her books: https://www.dbagency.cz/index.php?pg=authors&id=3 

Jacob (Yiddish: Yankev) Michailovitch Gordin (1853 – 1909) was a prominent Yiddish playwright credited with ushering in the “Golden Age” of Yiddish theater in the United States, elevating the Yiddish stage by introducing themes based on realism and naturalism. In addition to his own creations, many of his works were either based on, or adaptations of, plays by Shakespeare, Ibsen, Hugo, and Gogol. Gordin’s plays were realistic works that his audiences, primarily Yiddish-speaking Jews who were either immigrants themselves or first-generation Americans, could easily identify with. Some of his best known works include Der yidisher kenig lir (“The Jewish King Lear”based on Shakespeare’s King Lear ), Mirele EfrosGot, Mentsh un Tayvl (“God, Man, and Devil,”  based on Goethe's Faust), and Di Kreytser sonata (“The Kreutzer Sonata”).

Sara McKinney is an MFA candidate at the University of Arizona and current Managing Editor at the Sonora Review. Her fiction has appeared in Flying Island LiteraryScribble Lit Magazine, and received nominations for the PEN/Dau Award and the Pushcart Prize. She lives in Tucson with two entitled orange cats.

Elaine Midcoh (a pseudonym) was born in Florida. She was gifted a Jewish heritage from her father, a first generation American, and her mother, a Holocaust survivor. At age four she was asked if she was ticklish. Her answer: “No, I’m Jewish.”  She earned degrees in history and law and is now a retired professor who enjoys writing. This year a story she wrote was selected for publication in the Writers of the Future, v. 37 anthology. Recently, two of her stories were accepted by online journals, Flash Fiction Magazine and The Sunlight Press. She thanks her older brother for his continual encouragement. ("David, just read this again, okay?")

Péter Moesko (the author) is a young Hungarian author. His first book, a volume of short stories, We’re Going Home (Megyünk haza), published in 2019, was nominated for various awards and won the readers’ prize of the Merités award selected from the ten best fiction books published in Hungary in 2019. “The Scar” is from this volume. Two other stories from the same book have already appeared in English in Canada. Moesko is presently working on his first novel which is scheduled to be published in 2022. He is originally from rural Hungary and now lives in Vienna with his husband. 

Levana Moshon was born in Tel Aviv, is a graduate of Bar-Ilan University in education and geography, and is a writer, journalist, teacher, and children narrator, and a resident of Givat ShmuelShe has published 40prose books for children and youth, and 4 novels for adults: Excision (2019), The Silence of the Plants (nominated for the Sapir Prize 2015 ), Sour Love (winner of the Tchernichovsky Award), and Blue Woolen WireHer work has appeared in anthologies in Hebrew and Spanish. Her children’s stories were published in various children's magazines and were also read on Israeli radio, on a children’s program called One More Story and That’s all.She has won the ACUM Award twice.

Gail Pasternack is passionate about wisdom stories that spark laughter, insight and a fresh perspective. Gail’s story, “Asmodai in Portland,” was published by Reclaiming Judaism Press in the New Mitzvah Stories for the Whole Family anthology. In March 2021, her travel essay about cocktail bars in London and Paris was published in Wanderlust Journal. Devoted to helping writers, Gail has served on the Willamette Writers Board of Directors since 2015 and as president since 2019. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University, a masters from Columbia University, and is an ordained Maggidah. Gail and her husband reside in Portland, Oregon.

Louise Farmer Smith, granddaughter of pioneer dugout dwellers and chip gatherers, graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a BA in Letters. Publications include One Hundred Years of Marriage, a novel, Cadillac, Oklahoma, a story collection, and The Woman Without a Voice, a history and many stories in literary journals. She has Masters degrees from Yale University and Goddard College. Three of her stories have received Pushcart nominations, and her work has appeared in seven anthologies.

Susan Susser has taught English at Beit Berl Academic College in Israel for over thirty years. She has an M.A. in French Literature from Queens College in New York and is a graduate of the creative writing program at Bar Ilan University. Her fiction and non-fiction have been published in Bridges: A Jewish Feminist Journal, Kaleidoscope, Tel Aviv Short Stories, Jewish Currents, Jewish Literary Journal, and Collages & Bricolages.


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