I grew up in a Hebrew-speaking home in New York. For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated by language, culture, and belief.

photo by Danielle Aquiline


My debut poetry collection, WOLF LAMB BOMBis just out from Orison Books. It is in conversation with The Book of Isaiah in Hebrew and in translation, and has been named a New and Noteworthy book by The New York Times.

My first nonfiction book, The Grammar of God: A Journey Into the Words and Worlds of the Bible (Spiegel & Grau/ Penguin Random House), is about the intense experience of reading the Bible in English after an entire life of reading it in Hebrew. 

The Grammar of God was a National Jewish Book Award finalist, a Sami Rohr Prize finalist, one of Publishers’ Weekly’s Top 10 Religion Stories of 2015, and a National Jewish Book Club pick for 2018-19.

I am The Forward’s language columnist. My writing has also appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Wilson Quarterly, Longreads, The Gettysburg Review, The Chicago Tribune and Zoetrope: All-Story, and my poetry chapbook Eve and All the Wrong Men was published by Dancing Girl Press.

I am an associate professor of Creative Writing at Columbia College Chicago, where I direct the MFA Program in Creative Writing, a founding faculty member of the Randolph College MFA program, and a member of the Third Coast Translators Collective. I’m honored to serve on the Executive Board of the American Literary Translators Association and on the Executive Committee on Nonfiction at the Modern Languages Association.