Poetry. Esther Cohen writes with humor and joy and lots of energy. You can’t help but smile when you encounter her delightful images. In her title poem, for example, you learn that she once wrote a poem and “‘God Is a Tree’ was the title. / Louis Savitsky didn’t like it./ He asked why / I had the chutzpah / to believe I knew. / A few years later, Louis’s daughter / became a Scientologist.” It is those seemingly unrelated comments, presented with a straight “face,” that startle and amuse as they challenge one’s thinking. These poems have a definite Jewish tone to them, but certainly one doesn’t need to be Jewish in order to appreciate them.
Esther Cohen (Book Doctor, Don’t Mind Me and Other Jewish Lies, God is a Tree: Middle-Aged Prayers, and No Charge for Looking) lives in New York City where she is Executive Director of Bread and Roses, the national non-profit cultural program of New York’s union for health care workers. Winner of a Pure Visionary Award for a photographic project she initiated to give cameras and photography lessons to working men and women across the country, Cohen is a storyteller and humorist.