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October 5, 2006

Writer Rodger Kamenetz at Farmingdale State

Rodger Kamenetz
Rodger Kamenetz

Rodger Kamenetz , poet, essayist, and religious thinker, explores enlightenment and spirituality in his book, The Door and the Ladder: The Genesis of Dreams, from which he will be reading selections during a Conversation in the Arts at Farmingdale State on Thursday, November 2, at 11:00 am in the Roosevelt Hall Little Theatre. Kamenetz is internationally known for his work on Jewish-Buddhist dialogue, and lectures frequently on contemporary religion.

Rodger Kamenetz is the author of eight books including: The Jew in the Lotus and The Missing Jew: New and Selected Poems . He has been called "one of the most formidable of the Jewish-American poets." His poems are widely anthologized, and he is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in literature.

The Jew in the Lotus is a publishing phenomenon-considered by many to be the outstanding Jewish book of the decade--and has inspired a profound reevaluation of Jewish thinking in the light of the dialogue with Buddhism. Stalking Elijah: Adventures with Today 's Jewish Mystical Masters , was awarded the National Jewish Book Award for 1997 in the category of Jewish Thought. It describes his spiritual journey through encounters with contemporary teachers of Kabbalah and Jewish meditation. A PBS documentary film inspired by The Jew in the Lotus and Stalking Elijah and featuring Rodger Kamenetz is in release.

His articles and essays on religion have appeared in The New York Times Magazine , Moment , and Reform Judaism . In 1996, he organized a national campaign of Passover Seders for Tibet , in cooperation with the International Campaign for Tibet , and helped organized a special Seder for Tibet in Washington , D.C. with the Dalai Lama.

Kamenetz is professor of poetry and non-fiction writing in the MFA program and director of the Jewish Studies Program at Louisiana State University . He is a columnist for Beliefnet , an internet magazine of spirituality. He is poetry editor of Forward , teaches on the permanent faculty of the Prague Summer Seminars, and directs the Art-Spirit Program for the Vermont Studio Centers. While he graduated from Yale University , he also studied at The Johns Hopkins University and Stanford University .

This lecture is offered through the Distinguished Speakers Program at Farmingdale State . The DSP is committed to bringing important scholars and artists to the Farmingdale State campus to enrich the lives of the college community and the citizens of Long Island .