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Dan Alter

Jewish Artistic Expression and Social Justice Educator
DAN ALTER lived, by age 17, in nine houses on both coasts and the middle of the United States, which he had traversed a dozen times. He then began crossing the ocean, to stay months and years variously in Israel’s desert, coastal plain, and mountain city.  For over two decades he has been settled back in the East Bay Area of California. As a worker too Alter has moved between worlds. He has cut down banana trees with a machete and delivered laundry with a tractor; unloaded salmon on a dock in Alaska and salvaged bicycles for a guitar shop. He has led teens through the hills of the Galilee, tutored them in Hebrew and Torah chanting, and taught folktales from the Talmud. For the last eighteen years, he has worked as a union electrician, building hospitals, bridges, and many floors of high-rises. His writing can be understood as a spanning of these many worlds and distances. Alter has published poems widely in journals including Field, Fourteen Hills, Pank, and Zyzzyva.. He has been a fellow of the Arad Arts Project, and a finalist for the Rosenberg Award for Poems on the Jewish Experience. He is a member of the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley, and holds MFA from Saint Mary’s College of California. He lives in Berkeley with his wife and daughter.

Blog posts from Dan Alter


Upcoming Courses with Dan Alter

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April 2021

Poetry Preview: Ingathering of the Exiles (Spring 2021)

Thursday, April 22, 2021
5:30 PM to 6:00 PM
Educator: Dan Alter
Online CA
Free

In this preview session, we will read from the growing body of poems that bring our ancestors’ worlds closer—looking at one mine and one of another’s. This is a free session that will give you a taste for one of our upcoming courses: Poetry and Writing our Jewish Lineage.

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Poetry and Writing our Jewish Lineage (Spring 2021)

Wednesday, April 28, 2021 thru Wednesday, May 26, 2021
7:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Educator: Dan Alter
$90 – $150

In each session, we will read contemporary Jewish poems along these lines. Open-ended writing prompts will invite you to imagine (or invent) the worlds of your ancestors. Writing will happen during class sessions (no homework assigned) and there will be chances to share your work if you choose.

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