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Julia Knobloch reads from Book of Failed Salvation

Many of the poems in Julia Knobloch’s new chapbook, Book of Failed Salvation, are love poems that are secular, but explore the divine as well. The poet may try, as impossible as it may sound, not only to embrace a lover, but God.

God is Love after all, and writers like Rumi, San Juan de la Cruz, Rabindrandath Tagore, and Kahlil Gibran come to mind. Julia, a rabbinical student, in the spirit of Yehudah Halevi, the medieval Jewish philosopher, who wrote pious and secular poetry including the erotic, continues working in that Jewish and Arabic, that mid-eastern tradition.

In Book of Failed Salvation, places are loved too, longed for, New York, Los Angeles, Port of Salt, Yaffa Road. “Where you are now, the world is still asleep.”, the poet says to her departed lover. Leaving New York she writes, “And suddenly the city, island in the sun, like a lover eyeing the July sky, a leaf of grass between his lips. I wish to touch his curls again and hear him speak about his life. He is a harbor, not a shoreline.”

In the Vimeo below, Julia Knobloch reads her gently observed, metamorphic, evocative poems. “I stroked your naked feet that rested in my lap. Your eyes were green and amber.” Enjoy.




My olive harvest was destroyed and the moon stood high over Yaffa Road.
Why take a photo, my companion asked.
Behold the moment, enjoy the night.
Shabbat was over.
From the doorway of a small shul near the shuk
light fell into a quiet, new week of dates and jasmine.
We sang of gold and roses.
After bare and sour pilgrimage, there was time
for one more pomegranate juice; for salvation, a few hours.
At dawn, I drove down silent hills,
I beheld the parting moon leading me into the morning.
Stranger in exile, she said, I will come back and so will you—


Book of Failed Salvation is published by Ben Yehuda Press. You can check it out here:


One poem, “Promised Land,” has been published in The Jewish Journal. You can check out the poem and the journal here:


And here is a poem by the great Yehuda Haveli from The Poetry Foundation, “Where Will I Find You, translated by Peter Cole:



  1. Greg Masters

    That was great, enjoyable while sparking awareness.

  2. It was very good to hear these poems. Thank you.

  3. marbrill

    Beautiful, elevating poems that span the earthly and divine.

  4. Julia Knobloch

    So honored to be included in Erika’s Machberet.

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