Tasting Flight

(1 customer review)

poems by Yiskah Rosenfeld

Runner-up for the 2022 Arthur Smith Poetry Prize
ISBN: 978-1-956440-83-6 paperback $19.95
ISBN: 978-1-956440-84-3 ebook $9.99
June 18, 2024

TASTING FLIGHT was also a finalist for the Wheelbarrow Books Poetry Prize and received a Concrete Wolf Louis Book Award honorable mention.



The front cover of Tasting Flight, poems by Yiskah Rosenfeld. The cover is bisected vertically, with the left side a solid gray-blue with Tasting Flight poems Yiskah Rosenfeld written in beige letters. The right side of the cover shows a detailed image of an antique silk scarfTasting Flight

poems by Yiskah Rosenfeld
Runner-up for the 2022 Arthur Smith Poetry Prize
ISBN: 978-1-956440-83-6 paperback $19.95
ISBN: 978-1-956440-84-3 ebook $9.99

June 18, 2024

TASTING FLIGHT was also a finalist for the Wheelbarrow Books Poetry Prize and received a Concrete Wolf Louis Book Award honorable mention.

The poems in this collection are confidently crafted, spiritually and emotionally insightful and precise, and intelligent all at once. Rosenfeld does not shy away from the hardest subject matter and makes language equal to it. “On Becoming a Woman,” a moving and surprising mother/daughter poem, is the best I’ve read on this subject. Rooted in the origin myths of Genesis when the Divine “stepped out of itself onto the slick, dark lid of otherness,” Tasting Flight unflinchingly questions, complicates, and celebrates what it means to be a woman and to be deeply, imperfectly, human.

—Joy Ladin, National Jewish Book Award-winning author
of The Book of Anna and Shekhinah Speaks

This collection begins with its hands in the dirt, in the muck of anger and refusal, the underground where seeds disintegrate so something new, something nourishing can grow. Yiskah Rosenfeld’s poems are meticulous, vivid, and poignant. They scrape the heart with surgical precision, bridging generations, awash in light, enwombed in darkness. Prepared with love, seasoned with midrash and kabbalah, Tasting Flight is a rich meal to be savored slowly.

—Diane Elliot, author of The Voice is Movement: A Life in Poetry

A yearning dominates the vibrant poems in Tasting Flight, specifically the desire to be enough. Of course, though, one is always enough. The observant, insightful, and confident speaker in these poems knows this truth intellectually but searches to internalize such knowledge as in the breathtaking poem, “Bird Call Koan with Glossary.” These well-crafted poems are deeply rooted in the lyrical tradition, following the switchbacks and curves of a mind always in motion, perhaps contemplating the beauty of moths at night, “stars exploding and being born,” or the intricacies of raising a child. Whatever the subject, Tasting Flight is a book that sings back to the exploding stars.

—Charlotte Pence, author of Code and judge for the 2022 Arthur Smith Prize

These poems are imbued with sensuousness and awe, like the flesh of fruit torn and tasted, or myth born entirely of body, where the sustaining miracle becomes your daily life, “wounding you to a new self.” Tasting Flight is a Hebraic Sutra where Rosenfeld sits in meditation until she and the garden are one, bread and night are one, sacred and mundane, the cursed and the blessed, until Lilith and Eve complete the circle whose center is everywhere. Who else but Yiskah Rosenfeld to be exactly this poet?

—Chad Sweeney, author of Little Million Doors

Yiskah Rosenfeld’s Tasting Flight is both a sampling of subtle variations of spirit and a winging off the ground in self-reclamation. These are strongly crafted poems, wide ranging in form and genre, steeped in the vocabulary of Jewish customs and texts in cross-cultural conversation, as when the speaker tugs and worries the fringes of a prayer shawl “like rosaries, frayed jeans.” We discover the making of a self through the landscapes of cities, alphabets, stars, planets, languages, hours on the clock, and relationships, with explorations along the edges. Among myriad mysteries is the certainty that “I don’t deserve” because “I am not pretty” and identifications with the desires of Eve and the skin of Miriam until in a culminating poem, the speaker, prostrate in gratitude, finds herself “bowing to myself, big-bellied as Buddha and just as deserving.” In poems dense with thought and rich in feeling, a life in its details finds vital significance in the context of long timelines and a vast, expanding universe.

—Lori Hope Lefkovitz, founding executive director of ritualwell.org and
author of In Scripture: The First Stories of Jewish Sexual Identity

Author Yiskah Rosenfeld. She has shoulder length light brown or dark reddish blond hair. She wears glasses and smile with closed lips. She wears a bright colored necklace with disks of red, white and blue.

Yiskah Rosenfeld is the author of Naked Beside Fish (Finishing Line Press, 2024), an ekphrastic chapbook. She holds an MFA in poetry from Mills College and an MA in jurisprudence and social policy from UC Berkeley. She is also a proud rabbinical school dropout. A Pushcart Prize nominee, she was awarded the Anna Davidson Rosenberg Prize, the Reuben Rose Memorial Prize, and was runner-up for the Jeff Marks Prize, the Julia Darling Prize, and, most recently, the Frontier Poetry Roots & Roads Prize. Tasting Flight was the runner-up for the Arthur Smith Poetry Prize and a finalist for the Wheelbarrow Books Poetry Prize. Poems appear in Lilith Magazine, The Seattle Review, The Bitter Oleander, Rattle, Slippery Elm, December, and elsewhere. Her writings have also appeared in anthologies such as Why to These Rocks: the 50th Anniversary Anthology of the Community of Writers, Wild Gods: An Anthology of Ecstatic Poetry, and Yentl’s Revenge: The Next Wave of Jewish Feminism. Kansas born and raised, Yiskah currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area where she balances solo parenting with teaching workshops on feminism, spirituality, and creativity. www.yiskahrosenfeld.com

Author photo by Cheshire Isaacs

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1 review for Tasting Flight

  1. kpdavis

    If poetry is the highest form of literature, Yiskah Rosenfeld’s phenomenal new collection belongs right at the top of that literary heap because it is so beautifully and carefully crafted.

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