Mizmor L'David Anthology 


Poetica Magazine
                                           Contemporary Jewish Writing

Founder and Managing Editor

Michal Mahgerefteh is an award-winning poet and artist from Israel, living in Virginia since 1986. Her poetry has been published in many literary magazines, more recent publications:  Grey Thoughts Magazine (2021), Medicine and Meaning Magazine (University of Arkansas Medical Press, 2021), Global Voices Group Newsletter (2021), The Jewish Writing Project (2021)ARC Magazine (Israel, 2021), Verbal 2 Exhibit: Artists and Poets Collaboration (2021), Club Plum Journal (2021), Agape Review (2021), The Wild Word Magazine (2021), Eve Anthology (2021), Edify Fiction Magazine (2021), Baruch Literary Blog (2021), among others. Michal has been an active member of The Poetry Society of Virginia: served as student award judge; student award co-chair; book award chair; and webmaster. Michal is the author of four poetry chapbooks: "In My Bustan" (2009); "What's Left Behind" (2014); "Field of Harps" (2016); "Sipping Memories" (2018). Forthcoming chapbooks: "The Rising Song" and "FishMoon" (2022). In her free time, Michal enjoys cooking, world travel, hiking, long bike rides, and making art. Visit her art and read her poems: www.Mitak-Art.com

Print Edition Selecting Editor

Sofia M. Starnes, Virginia Poet Laureate from 2012 to 2014, is the author of six poetry collections, most recently The Consequence of Moonlight (Paraclete Press, 2018). She is the recipient of a Poetry Fellowship from the Virginia Commission for the Arts, among other commendations, including the Rainer Maria Rilke Poetry Prize, the Aldrich Poetry Prize, the Transcontinental Poetry Book Award (Editor’s Choice), the Marlboro Review Poetry Prize, the Whitebird Poetry Series Prize, five Pushcart Prize nominations, and an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Union College, Kentucky. Sofia’s poetry has appeared in such journals as Poetry, First Things, The Bellevue Literary Review, Notre Dame Review, William & Mary Review, Southern Poetry Review, Laurel Review, Gulf Coast, and Modern Age, as well as various anthologies, including the Best of the Decade Edition of the Hawai’i Pacific Review. Her translations of essays on the Philippine-Spanish artist Fernando Zóbel have been issued by Galería Cayón in Madrid, Spain, and the Ayala Foundation, Manila, Philippines. In 2018, she was engaged to translate a book on Spain’s role in the American Revolution, which was subsequently published by Iberdrola. Sofia lives in Williamsburg, Virginia, with her husband, Bill, Gottwald Professor of Chemistry, Emeritus, at William and Mary and jazz pianist. More information on her work may be found at www.sofiamstarnes.com. 

Selecting Editor and Award Judge

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. Congratulations to Daniel for winning the 2019 DOGFISH HEAD Poetry Prize

Selecting Editor and Proofreader

King 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. 

Award Judge

Jane Ellen Glasser’s poetry has appeared in numerous journals, such as The Hudson Review, The Southern Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, and The Georgia Review. Her poems have garnered awards from the Irene Leache Society, Puddingstone, and the Poetry Society of Virginia, and she has been recognized for outstanding articles on teaching poetry that were featured in Virginia English Bulletin and English Journal. In the past she reviewed poetry books for The Virginian-Pilot, edited poetry for the The Ghent Quarterly and Lady Jane’s Miscellany, and co-founded the nonprofit arts organization and journal New Virginia Review.  A first collection of her poetry, Naming the Darkness, with an introduction by W. D. Snodgrass, was issued by Road Publishers in 1991. She won the Tampa Review Prize for Poetry 2005, and her award-winning book, Light Persists, received an honorable mention in the 2007 Library of Virginia Literary Awards. The Long Life won the Poetica Publishing Company Chapbook Contest in 2011. FutureCycle Press published The Red Coat (2013), chapbook Cracks (2015), ​In the Shadow of Paradise (2017), Jane Ellen Glasser: Selected Poems (2019). Cyberwit published Staying Afloat during a Plague in 2021 during the pandemic. She has presented readings and workshops for audiences as diverse as students in the Poet-in-the Schools Program, inmates at the Broward Detention Center, and participants in national poetry conferences. Glasser is a member of The Poetry Society of Virginia  and The Fort Lauderdale Writers’ Group. Visit Jane's poetry.

Selecting Editor

Alan Toltzis is the author of 49 Aspects of Human Emotion (Poetica) and The Last ommandment (Poetica). A two-time Pushcart nominee, he has published in numerous print and online journals including, Grey Sparrow, The Wax Paper, Hummingbird, IthacaLit, North of Oxford, and Poetry NI. He also serves as a Contributing Editor for The Saturday Poetry Series in As It Ought to Be Magazine, and Mizmor Anthology. Find him online at alantoltzis.com and follow him @ToltzisAlan. 

Award Judge

Dr. Israel Zoberman is the founding rabbi of Congregation Beth Chaverim in Virginia Beach and Honorary Senior Rabbi Scholar of Eastern Shore Chapel Episcopal Church in Virginia Beach as well. He was born on November 12, 1945 in Chu, Kazakhstan to Polish Holocaust survivors and spent his early childhood in Displaced Persons Camps in Austria and Germany following an escape from Poland. Immigrating to Haifa, Israel in 1949 with his family, he served in the Israel Defense Forces. He earned a M.A. degree in political science from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1971. He was ordained as a Reform Rabbi at the Hebrew Union College- Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1974, along with a M.A. in Hebrew Letters. His alma- mater granted him an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree in 1999. He is the only rabbi to earn a doctoral degree in Pastoral Care and Counseling from the McCormick Theological Seminary (affiliated with the Presbyterian Church USA) in Chicago, Illinois in 1980. He offered prayers twice in the US Senate and twice in the US House of Representatives. He was the guest of Presidents Bush and Obama at White House Chanukah receptions. Cox Cable and Mayor Oberndorf of Virginia Beach honored him as a “Great Citizen of Hampton Roads” in 1989. On the occasion of his 30th Anniversary of ordination he was honored by the Senate of Virginia Joint Resolution No. 134. Both Mayors Oberndorf and Sessoms honored him respectively with “Rabbi Israel Zoberman Day.” He is the first rabbi to serve as chairman of the Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. He is past national interfaith chair of Jewish Counsel of Public Affairs. He served as president of the Hampton Roads Board of Rabbis and Cantors, as well as President of the Virginia Beach Clergy Association. He is the only Hampton Roads rabbi to serve as a police chaplain, with the Virginia Beach Police Department. He is a commissioner with the Virginia Beach Human Rights Commission. Rabbi Zoberman contributes editorials, book reviews and poetry to a variety of publications including Poetica, the Congressional Record, the Virginian Pilot, Daily Press, Southeastern Virginia Jewish News and CCAR Journal: The Reform Jewish Quarterly.

Past Editors

Ricky Rapoport
(Award Judge)

Award-winning documentary
film maker and author of two award-winning 
poetry collections. First Prize Winner in the
Writer's Digest 
15th Annual Self Published
Book Awards. (

Dina Ripsman Eylon
(Award Judge)

Bilingual author and publisher,

 has a Ph.D. in Post-biblical Hebrew
Language and Literature from the
of Toronto. For the past 16 years,
she has served as the publisher and Editor-in-Chief
of Women in Judaism: A Multidisciplinary Journal.

Nancy Powell, Z"L
(Selecting Editor / Proofreader)

Past President 
The Poetry Society of Virginia
Advisor to Christopher Newport
University Literary Festival

Joan Gelfand
(Award Judge)

Past President
Women's National Book Association
Award-winning author.

Pete Freas
(Selecting Editor-Short Stories)

Skipping Stones Anthology
Former board member
The Poetry Society of Virginia

Jack Callan


Founder and Director
Little River Poetry Festival
Past eastern region director
The Poetry Society of Virginia

Linda Pressman
(Award Judge)

Linda is a freelance writer, editor, blogger,
and speaker.  
She is the author of "Looking Up:

A Memoir of Sisters, Survivors and Skokie"
First Prize Winner in the Writer's Digest 
20th Annual Self Published Book Award

Sharon Weinstein

Sharon Weinstein is a twenty-five year creative
writing professor, classical musician,

watercolor and Asian Brush Painting artist.
She is the author of one poetry collection
and active member of the Poetry Society of Virginia.