Poetica Magazine    


 Contemporary Jewish Writing

Michal Mahgerefteh, Poetry Editor and Publisher













Michal Mahgerefteh is an award-winning artist and poet from Israel, living in Virginia since 1986. Her work has been published in over one-hundred literary magazines and anthologies. She received many awards for her poetry, most recently three awards from the Poetry Society of Texas, Green River Writers Society, The Poetry Society of Pennsylvania, Austin Poetry Society, and Bethesda Poetry Writing Competition. Michal is the author of four poetry collections; In My Bustan, Sipping Memories: A Poetic Journal to Morocco, What's Left Behind, Field of Harps, and is currently working on her fifth collection. Michal is an active member of The Poetry Society of Virginia; serves as a student contest judge and is the annual book award chair. 

In 2015-16, Michal's iPad paintings were published in print and electronically by Cactus Heart Magazine, Tiferet Magazine, Twisted Vine Art Magazine (Western New Mexico University), Petricho Magazine, Mud Season Review, Artists Portfolio Magazine, Fiction Fix 15 Magazine, ArtSpan BLOG, Pixles.com, Gravel Magazine and West Virginia Review.

Her interests include ancient civilizations, world travel, hiking, Sephardic music and food.

To read sample poems and review current art, visit www.michal-mahgerefteh.com 

June 2016, Michal received first place award for her mixed media art, "Cosmic Birth."

Nancy Powell, Contest Committee










Nancy Powell's work has appeared in Kalliope, Black Water Review, BlueLine, Virginia Adversaria, The Beacon, Skipping Stones and Sweet Bay Review and has poems in the anthology, The Light In Ordinary Things. Her first poetry collection, How Far Is Ordinary, was published by MindWorm Press in March 2007 and is available from Mindworm Press and www.amazon.com. Her second collection, The Blackbirds Tell Stories, is forthcoming in March 2015 from San Francisco Bay Press. She is a past president and executive council member of the Poetry Society of Virginia, and was chair of the PSV Student Poetry Contest for three years and was the editor for their newsletter for three years. Ms. Powell is a member of The National Association of American Pen Women, and was on the advisory council for The Christopher Newport University Writers Conference for ten years. She hosted a poetry program for Barnes & Noble in Newport News for three years, bringing poets into the area to read and share their work, and a monthly poetry series at Iris Art Shop in Poquoson for eight years Ms Powell was the poetry editor for Virginia Adversaria for three years, and is currently an assistant editor for Skipping Stones, a yearly poetry anthology for the Tidewater area in Virginia. She has lived in England and Australia, and has traveled throughout Europe, parts of Asia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific. www.nancypowell.us

David King, Contest Committee











Mr. King is a retired educator who has taught in public schools and colleges in numerous levels and disciplines. He has over twenty years of experience in teaching college-level English, literature, and composition as well as implementing a program in which advanced high school students enroll in freshman composition for both high school and college credit. He is active as the web editor for the Poetry Society of Virginia and a board member and Facebook editor of Friends of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University. Mr. King has published a book of poetry titled, This Side of Forever. His interests include studies in the Civil War, the architecture of Virginia’s Colonial Churches, Victorian Era cemeteries, bicycling, hiking, and amateur photography. He resides in a restored bungalow in Colonial Place, Norfolk, Virginia, along with his beloved wife and four rescue dogs ranging from a Scottish Terrier to Chihuahuas. He has both Bachelors and Masters Degrees from Old Dominion University, in addition to his thirty-nine years of professional teaching. He has taught classes at pre-school to college level. He offers personal editing services in grammar, style, format, and content.

Jane Ellen Glasser, Contest Judge

Jane Ellen Glasser's poetry has appeared in numerous journals, including The Hudson Review, The Southern Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, The Georgia Review, Poetry Northwest, and Hayden's Ferry Review. Her poems have garnered awards from the Irene Leache Society, Puddingstone, and the Poetry Society of Virginia. She has been recognized for outstanding articles on teaching poetry that were featured in the Virginia English Bulletin and English Journal. A first collection of her poetry, Naming the Darkness, with an introduction by W. D. Snodgrass, was followed by Light Persists, which won the Tampa Review Prize for Poetry 2005 and received an honorable mention in the 2007 Library of Virginia Literary Awards. Her chapbook, On the Corner of Yesterday, was published in 2010 by Pudding House Publications. The Long Life, recent winner of the Poetica Publishing Company's 2011 Chapbook Contest, was released January 2012. For much of her life Glasser has been active as an advocate for poetry. In the past she reviewed poetry books for The Virginian-Pilot, edited poetry for The Ghent Quarterly and Lady Jane's Miscellany, and co-founded the nonprofit arts organization and journal New Virginia Review. In addition, she has given presentations and conducted workshops for the International Society of Poetry, Writing Project at College of William & Mary, Tidewater Writing Project at Old Dominion University, and the Florida's First Coast Writer's Festival, to name a few. For several years she served as poet-in-the-schools and visiting poet throughout Virginia before assuming a sixteen-year position as English and creative writing teacher at Norview High School in Norfolk, Virginia. Retired, she now resides in Florida where she is an active member of the Fort Lauderdale Writers' Group.


Dina Rispman Eylon, Contest Judge (Canada)

Author and publisher, Dina Ripsman Eylon has a Ph.D. in Post-biblical Hebrew Language and Literature from the University of Toronto. For the past thirteen years, she has served as the publisher and editor-in-chief of Women in Judaism: A Multidisciplinary Journal. This gender-related publication has engaged and promoted new feminist scholarship in Jewish Studies. In her book, Reincarnation in Jewish Mysticism and Gnostism (2003), Ripsman Eylon examines the development of the concept of reincarnation, gilgul, in the first kabalistic work that deals with the topic, the late-12th-century Sefer ha-Bahir (The Book of Clarity). Some of Eylon's articles and poems appeared in The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Literature, American Writers Classics, Encyclopedia of Rape, Kinesis, American National Biography, and Reader's Guide to Judaism. Dina is the founder of the Vaughan Poets' Circle and serves as the Thornhill branch manager of the Ontario Poetry Society. Her poems were published in various magazines and journals and in the anthologies Convergence: Poets for Peace, Letters to the World: Poems from the Wom-Po Listserv, Enchanted Crossroads and Stress(full) Sister(hood). Her chapbook, Songs of Love and Misgivings, was published in September 2006. In 2007, she edited a collection of poems titled, Waging Change: Vaughan Poets Engage in Politics. In 2010, Dina's new chapbook, In the Heart of the City was published by Sisterhood Press. Dina has published two full poetry collections: The Heart of the City and Other Urban Poems and On the Horizon in the First Person [2012-Hebrew]. Eylon is from Ontario, Canada.

Linda Pressman, Visiting Editor

















Linda Pressman is the author of the newly published, Looking Up: A Memoir of Sisters, Survivors and Skokie, and one of seven sisters born to Holocaust survivor parents in Chicago. Her poem, "Father of Sons," won the Best Published Award in Poetica Magazine in March, 2008. Her creative nonfiction has appeared in literary journals including Znine, the literary journal of the University of Texas at Arlington, The Paradise Review, the Maricopa Anthology, and in Brain, Child: The Magazine for Thinking Mothers, as well as in the Jewish News of Greater Phoenix. She has an undergraduate degree in history, did post-graduate work in Medieval History, and has a Masters Degree in English. She lives in Scottsdale, Arizona with her husband and two children. Looking Up has won the Grand Prize in the Writer's Digest 20th annual Self-Published Book (2012). Linda is taking some time off to promote her award-winning book .

Daniel Pravda, Contest Committee



Daniel Pearlman Pravda was born in Norfolk and raised in Virginia Beach. He blossomed into an English major at the University of Maryland and did his M.F.A. in poetry at George Mason University. His concentration in poetry has seeped into other genres such as fiction and music. His work, published in numerous journals, including The Washington Review, Phoebe, Grasslands Review, Poet's Domain, Beltway, and others, shows an attention to small details from natural to urban settings. He was interviewed on NPR's "With Good Reason" in June 2006 as part of their Virginia Poets series. He has taught English and Creative Writing at Norfolk State University since 1996 and The MUSE Writing School since 2000. Daniel is the author of A Bird in The hand is a Dumb Bird, released in 2011.

We thank the following past editors
for their support and encouragement

Jack Callan, Copyeditor
Annie Dawid, Short Story Editor
Pete Freas, Short Story Editor
Ricky Rappaport Friesem, Contest Judge

Joanne Jagoda, Short Story Editor
Joan Gelfand, Contest Judge
Claudia Mazur, Contest Judge