November 29, 2023

Rimonim

By Aurora Levins Morales

* Publication Date: Fall 2024 * 

Rimonim is a richly woven tapestry of poetry meant for use. From a time of rupture and uncertainty, beloved movement poet Aurora Levins Morales brings us a prayer book for the street, for reconstituting the future through our gestures in the present. In these poems of devotion and protest, Levins Morales speaks across and through time with an undeniably prophetic voice. Written in collaboration with various communities looking to honor, unravel, and rebuild Jewish liturgies, Rimonim is a book of lyric in the most immediate sense—of poems that are meant to be read and sung. Rooted in tradition and flowering in the tumultuous present, these poems will both accompany specific Jewish practices and offer inspiration for the sacred work of human liberation, where joy meets justice. 

Ultimately, these forty-nine poems honor the forty-ninth year, when it was taught that everything in the land would begin anew, everything redistributed and freed, when the people would see that everything on this earth was “ready to wake and bloom / just under the skin of what is.”

About the Author

Aurora Levins Morales is a cuir Ashkenazi Boricua writer of poetry, essays, and fiction. A child of blacklisted communist parents, she grew up immersed in social justice movements and the poetry of liberation, and came into public voice as part of the collective eruptions of radical art of the 1970s and ’80s. She is the author of nine books, including Medicine Stories, Kindling, Remedios, and Silt. Her poetry is widely used in synagogues and churches, in schools and at rallies, painted on walls and recited at weddings, translated into seven languages and reprinted in dozens of anthologies. After forty years in the San Francisco Bay Area, she now lives at Finca la Lluvia, an agro-poetry project in the western mountains of Boriken, also known as Puerto Rico. The Story of What Is Broken Is Whole: An Aurora Levins Morales Reader will be published in 2024 by Duke University Press. Find her on Patreon and at www.auroralevinsmorales.com.

Praise for Rimonim

“Aurora Levins Morales’s poetry radiates wisdom, warmth, and fortitude. A prophetic, life-centered guide for times of tumult and struggle.”
Arielle Angel, editor-in-chief of Jewish Currents

“Don’t you need a blessing from the grandmothers? A reconsecration of your relationship to Earth? Then you need the words of this ‘fierce Latina Jew holding out a rose to Palestine.’ In these poems, as always, Aurora Levins Morales reminds us that who we are has never been simple but who we are is also holy. These are the poems that invite us to act accordingly.”
Alexis Pauline Gumbs, author of Survival Is a Promise: The Eternal Life of Audre Lorde

“An answered prayer! A prayer itself! This book is such a glorious remedy to carry us through our days and seasons. Drawing on a lineage of revolutionary poet-prophets, Aurora Levins Morales roots into the fertile margins and weaves the liturgy we need for these times of fire and crisis. Infused with water and stone, these prayer-poems irrigate and ground us, (re)orienting and (re)organizing us to earth, to each other, to ourselves, and to what we hold sacred. Blessed are we and blessed is she for bringing forth this generous, gorgeous, much needed and desired offering.”
Dori Midnight, community care practitioner, ritual leader, and writer

“This healing, generous collection from the voice of a treasured, prophetic elder is medicine for the long haul. An abundant collection of seeds, the poems of Rimonim celebrate and affirm that we are interconnected, embedded in a sacred web of those who rest, rise, labor, love, sow, weave, grieve, and give. These breathtaking poems and prayers invite us to lay down our ‘illusions of separation’ and to know that ‘each wound is full of possibility.’ Rimonim offers so much to our multilingual, multiracial, intergenerational, diasporic Jewish communities and movements for justice. I am so grateful for this long-awaited collection and the world conjured within it. ‘Bless me,’ Levins Morales writes and generations will echo, ‘for this is the time and I am awake.’ Que viva! Amen!”
Mónica Gomery, author of Might Kindred

Rimonim is a sacred offering. Simultaneously rooted and ephemeral, sensory and transcendent, of the earth and of the spirits, this book is a gift to organizers and seekers everywhere. Aurora Levins Morales weaves together our past with our present, daring us to imagine a future born from our most liberated dreams and desires. It’s one of those ‘keep this by your bedside’ books that I will return to over and over again, with deep admiration and gratitude.”
Audrey Sasson, executive director of Jews for Racial & Economic Justice

“Aurora Levins Morales’s liturgical work is not just poetry; it’s a divine echo of comfort, legend, and ethereal beauty that resonates deeply with those in need of ethically aligned spiritual nourishment. In Rimonim, Levins Morales masterfully weaves her ancestral spiritual heritage with a sophisticated, nuanced, and precise understanding of the most urgent calls for justice and liberation of our time. This is the poetry of a true tzaddik, whose legendary work facilitates healing and opens portals of possibility and hope, guiding us toward a more inspired, compassionate, and just future.”
April N. Baskin, founding director of Joyous Justice

“Aurora Levins Morales has gifted us an exquisite collection of poetic prayer and prophecy that can lift our spirits, embolden us to listen to the truth of our innermost experience, and open the channel of holy connection that flows between us, our ancestors, and ‘the breath of life in all things.’ For those of us who already engage with Jewish liturgy, this book will change the way we pray. For those of us who struggle to recognize ourselves in Jewish liturgy, this book will make it possible for us to pray. And for all of us, whether or not we have a relationship with Jewish prayer, this book opens a window into the beauty and struggle of a life lived with integrity, clarity, and sacred connection to all that is.”
Rabbi Dev Noily, Kehilla Community Synagogue

“Aurora Levins Morales has provided the words we need, at a time when our pain and yearning have rendered so many of us speechless. Liturgy and lament, prose and praise, this collection represents an extraordinary exploration of the landscape of the soul. Simultaneously cosmic and intimate, Levins Morales’s writing is populated with characters who live with and within you, from abuelos to garment workers to biblical matriarchs. This volume promises to be beloved in the bedroom and on the bimah, and everywhere in between.”
Rabbi Michael Rothbaum, Congregation Bet Haverim

Book Details

Paperback | ISBN: 9781961814172 | e-ISBN: 9781961814189
Publication Date: August 6, 2024