Poetry. Jewish Studies. From Lazer's ambitious ten-year Notebook shape–writing project, THINKING IN JEWISH challenges the way we read and write poetry and reframes the terms of spiritual autobiography. Drawing on Jewish traditions of text-and-commentary in conversation on the same page, Lazer's new book, in dialogue with the writing of Emmanuel Levinas, is a notebook full of major events, some personal/familial in nature, others more generally so—from the death of his father-in-law to his first trip to Cuba, to other travels (London & Edinburgh, the former to read with one of his favorite poets, Fanny Howe), to time spent in LA and Honolulu, to a trip with his son who was beginning his graduate work in screenwriting at USC, to a reading of Adam Levine's gigantic novel The Instructions, to a second trip to Havana in which the government (Cuban) applied pressure which caused Lazer to cancel a scheduled jazz-poetry concert, to the devastating tornado that struck Tuscaloosa killing more than fifty people and destroying large parts of the city and the surrounding countryside.
Hank Lazer has published twenty-four books of poetry, including POEMS HIDDEN IN PLAIN VIEW (Presses Universitaires de Rouen, 2016, in English and in French), Brush Mind: At Hand (2016), N24 (2014), THINKING IN JEWISH (N20), and N18 (2012), Portions (2009), THE NEW SPIRIT (Singing Horse Press, 2005), Elegies & Vacations (2004), and Days (2002). Selected Poems and Essays of Hank Lazer, completed by a group of translators, was published by Central China Normal University Press in 2015. Lazer's Selected Poems have also been published in Italy and will be appearing shortly in Cuba (including 11 tracks for jazz-poetry improvisations with soprano saxophonist Andrew Raffo Dewar). Readings and interviews can be accessed through PennSound, as well as in special issues of Plume (#34) and Talisman (#42) . In 2015, Lazer received Alabama's most prestigious literary prize, the Harper Lee Award, for lifetime achievement in literature. His books of criticism include Opposing Poetries (two volumes, 1996) and Lyric & Spirit: Selected Essays 1996-2008 (2008). With Charles Bernstein, he edits the Modern and Contemporary Poetics Series for the University of Alabama Press. Lazer retired from the University of Alabama in January 2014 from his positions as Associate Provost for Academic Affairs, Executive Director of Creative Campus, and Professor of English.Author City: TUSCALOOSA, AL USA