A Messenger Comes

A Messenger Comes
Rachel Tzvia Back

“Rachel Tzvia Back’s A Messenger Comes is poetry that, without apology, centers on grief and its faithful companion, memory. The reality of death – always a shock – pulls us inward and apart; but the messenger from the living insists that we mourn while we continue on with our lives. Back’s poems are moving, eloquent, and delicately honed; they allow us to feel her (and our) sorrows in their true depth as they intermingle with our mundane routines. A Messenger Comes is a gift that each of us needs and should read again and again.”
—Irena Klepfisz

“In A Messenger Comes the poet’s spirit is broken by her grief. Beautifully rich and emotionally engaging, this is no simple book of consolation. In its steadfast beauty, it is a book of questions: can grief be sustained? What can we learn from the grief of another? She has lost her sister & her father; what could we possibly say to console her? Can we know another’s grief? What if grieving is not something we should get over? What are the connections between grief & memory? How does a poem intensify our memory of the ones we have lost? Lost to what? Thus this is a messenger we will want & need to welcome time & again. A harrowing & inspiring book of poems!”
—Hank Lazer

Rachel Tzvia Back lives in the Galilee, in the north of Israel, where her great great great grandfather settled in the 1830s. Her poetry collections include Azimuth, The Buffalo Poems and On Ruins & Return. She was the editor of the English edition of the ground-breaking anthology With an Iron Pen: Twenty Years of Hebrew Protest Poetry