“Milkweed at Rosh Hashanah” and other poems

Kim Roberts

About Kim Roberts

I am the editor of the anthology By Broad Potomac’s Shore: Great Poems from the Early Days of our Nation’s Capital (University of Virginia Press, 2020), and the author of A Literary Guide to Washington, DC: Walking in the Footsteps of American Writers from Francis Scott Key to Zora Neale Hurston (University of Virginia Press, 2018), and five books of poems, most recently The Scientific Method (WordTech Editions, 2017). I have been the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, HumanitiesDC, and the DC Commission on the Arts, and have been a writer-in-residence at 18 artist colonies. Poems of mine have been featured in the Wick Poetry Center’s Traveling Stanzas Project, on the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day Project, and on podcasts sponsored by the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Arts.

About “Milkweed at Rosh Hashanah” and other poems

The poems in the attached portfolio use Jewish holidays and other cultural touchstones of the annual lifecycle to access a shared Jewish identity. I love the idea of a time apart, an end-of-cycle time to let the fields go fallow, let debts be forgiven, and start a new time of repair. I believe that the current shmita comes at a particularly important time of transition, as we begin to envision what our post-pandemic lives might look like. Reading and writing poems have been a significant way for me to connect on a deep, emotional level to a shared Jewish history and a shared Jewish experience. The seven attached poems are my attempt to balance simultaneously the tension between danger and hopefulness that are the two sides to a time of transition.