JOY LADIN holds the David and Ruth Gottesman Chair in English at Stern College of Yeshiva University. Her books include Alternatives to History, The Book of Anna, and Transmigration. Ladin is currently working on a study of American modernist poetics while writing a memoir called Inside Out: Confessions of a Woman Caught in the Act of Becoming. She has been the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship, an American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship, and a nomination for Pushcart Prize in Poetry.
“Ladin draws the reader into a world of harsh truths, uncanny beauty, inspired erudition, ironic wit, and cadenced music . . . imagination rules, wedding poetic forms to unflinching meditations on human suffering, terror, love, and unbearable loss. Despite the ubiquity of evil and death in her poems, there is, in Yeats’s words, ‘a gaiety transfiguring all that dread.’”—Herbert Leibowitz
“Joy Ladin’s The Definition of Joy searches for and finds useful truth and truth you can keep on the shelf for later use, definition and redefinition of self. She plays profoundly with her name and holy names in the temple and synagogues of her sexuality that is also our doing and undoing. Her world that once was secret and private is our world, far as Uganda, close as a kiss. She sends spies into the Promised Land.”—Stanley Moss