chana Bloch: lifelines and Deadlines DVD
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Months before her death in 2017, acclaimed poet and translator Chana Bloch previewed for fellow members of Ashby Village poems she had written during her four-year cancer journey, which were later published in her final book. She interspersed her reading with comments on the poems and her reactions to living with an aggressive sarcoma.
"I discovered," she told the audience, " ... that, in the process of turning pain into poetry, I would find myself transformed. ... These days the sense of an audience is ever-present, in particular those in my age group who are dealing with end-of-life issues, like me. And writing offers itself as a task, a responsibility, one that keeps me fully alive."
... I’m watching my cohort
master the skills at each grade level
and get promoted to the next. ...
One cohort, one body, one book of words,
we confess to each other.
And the young study us.
Check out an excerpt of the film here
Chana did not live to do the customary post-publication reading of “The Moon Is Almost Full” (Autumn House Press), the book that includes the poems she read that day. The event for the Ashby Village community is the closest we can get to such a reading. The Village filmed the event, thanks to two rounds of generous funding from members and supporters. A DVD of that professionally filmed and edited reading can now be ordered here.
Filmed by: Lonny Shavelson and Jan Sturman
Edited by: Mike Axinn and Lonny Shavelson
Consultant: Gina Leibrecht
Produced by: Peter Y. Sussman for Ashby Village
This film would not have been possible without the loving support of David Sutter, Chana Kronfeld, Jonathan Bloch and Benjamin Bloch, and generous grants from the Connemara Fund.