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Greatest Lover
The Greatest Jewish-American  Lover  in Hungarian History

A humorous and heartrending portrait of expatriate life, drawing upon the hazards and confusions that occur when the Old World meets the New.

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because they needed me
"Because They Needed Me:" Rita Miljo and the Orphaned Baboons of South Africa

"Thank God there are people like Rita who are working for those species that other people don't like."
                           - Jane Goodall

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Just Three Minutes, Please: Thinking Out Loud on Public Radio

“The intellect of a scholar, the sensitivity of a poet, the objectivity of a professor of law: it hardly seems possible that so many virtues can be embodied in one book of short talks.”
          - C.K. Williams, American poet, critic and translator, and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for poetry

"David Sedaris and Ira Glass have a brother from another mother, and his name is Michael Blumenthal. His soulful NPR essays are profound thought-clouds from one of America's finest poets."
           - Dalton Delan, Executive Producer of In Performance at the White House for PBS

“Engaging, astute, and eloquent.”
                  - Meenakshi Gigi Durham, author of The Lolita Effect and Professor and Collegiate Scholar at University of Iowa

“Michael  Blumenthal has had many professions—lawyer, psychoanalyst, poet, professor, travel writer, novelist—and somehow these different  professional  perspectives blend together perfectly in his latest incarnation as a commentator for NPR.  He writes with prickly piquancy and gleeful eclecticism  over a broad range of topics—but is always, in the tradition of our  best essayists, speaking from the  baseline of his own humanity.“
                     - Ross McElwee, Professor of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard University

No Hurry: Poems (forthcoming)

No Hurry, the author’s eighth book of poems, is a book of poems written in early to late mid-age, which focuses on the amalgamation, and synthesis, of life experiences that might, at times, lead to what we might call wisdom The title is meant as an imploration, both to the writer and to his readers: No hurry to read these poems quickly; no hurry to live a life that is, in any event, fleeting; no hurry to pass through experience without savoring it, in all its varied pains and pleasures. No Hurry is a book of poems for the aging in body but young in spirit, for those interested in continuing to ask life’s most meaningful questions as they head “downhill”: What does it mean to be alive? What shall we make of it? How shall we find meaning and joy amidst or mortality and suffering?

"What a terrific book this is! Blumenthal at his best, trying hard to love the life he's been given (and often succeeding), but always aware of what might go wrong. There is a constant pull in these probing and self-examining poems between those polarities. He thinks out loud for all of us, affirms and denies with wit, charm, and best of all, with what feels like hard-won accuracy."                                                                                                       - Stephen Dunn

"Even beyond their poise and elegance, there's a wonderful affability to Michael Blumenthal's poems.  All have such an inviting sense of welcome, humor, romance, and intimacy that one may not immediately notice how elegiac, heartbreaking, and full of wisdom they are.  This is the finest collection of poetry I've read in a very long time."                                                                                     - Ron Hansen

And: Poems

"Michael Blumenthal's beautiful new book, And, is a full throated, Whitmanian rhapsody for "the ands and etceteras of the world," "its accidents, its gravities, its moments of grace." Ambitious, big hearted, funny and poignant, And is a book to celebrate and treasure."                                                                                    - Alan Shapiro

Brazen, humble, sly, disarming, stalwart, sweet: conjunction's fine continuo.  These large-hearted poems take an all-embracing "and" for both motto and creed. More life! they sing, even as they survey the major  and minor wreckage life has dealt us.  More life is what they generate too, unspooling lines as beautifully cadenced and sustained as any I know. This And is a gift.                                                       -Linda Gregerson

"I have long admired Michael Blumenthal's poetry for its lavish forthrightness, the intractable wit, the sumptuous language, and the brave moral center.  In this stunning work, he summons a world where "the blessed air in the trees will take us in its arms." These are, indeed, truth-giving poems, poems of radical innocence acquired the hard way, by passing through the crucible of experience. This important book deserves a wide audience."                                                                                                 - Jay Parini

"Blumenthal the latter-day psalmist encompasses in these brilliant poems both chatter and stillness, pantheism and skepticism, rapture and resignation to the ordinary.  He is a wisdom poet, in the fullness of vision and opulent language; and this madly pleasurable collection heals the rift between the ardent and the comic."                                                                                                                     - Phillip Lopate

Weinstock Among the Dying
Weinstock Among the Dying

Winner of the Ribalow Prize for best work of jewish fiction.

A biting satire of Harvard and academic life seen through the lens of the psychoanalytic process.

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All My Mothers and Fathers
All My Mothers and Fathers: A Memoir

“Here is a book that turns the familiar immigrant story on its ear, and makes of that American tale a profound meditation on family and history.” - Patricia Hampl

New edition coming Sept 2016
Pre-order from: WVU Press
German version available soon for purchase.
German version available through publisher: Order here
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Against Romance: Poems

“It is as difficult to dislike a Blumenthal poem as to dislike a piece by Mozart... Against Romance is a testament to empowerment, to the resilience of the heart.” -Kurt Heinzelman, The Massachusetts Review

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Days We Would Rather Know

“Blumenthal’s second collection of poems adds a buoyant new presence to contemporary American poetry. I cannot think of anyone in America just now who writes as he does.” - Helen Vendler, The New Republic

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When History Enters the House

When History Enters the House: Essays

“Blumenthal's brilliant series of sketches make for a vivid, poignant, unforgettable panorama of Central Europe in the mid-1990’s.” - Sacvan Bercovitch, Harvard University

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Laps: A Poem

Winner of the University of Massachusetts Juniper Prize.

A sequence of poems written in the voice of a swimmer who seeks to come to grips with his mother’s early death.

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To Woo and To Wed cover
To Woo and To Wed: Poets on Love and Marriage (editor)

Eloquent, witty, beautiful, and profound responses to married life of more than a hundred of our finest poets, among them Seamus Heaney, William Butler Yeats, and Elizabeth Bishop.

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Dusty Angel cover
Dusty Angel: Poems

Winner of the 1999 Isabella Steward Gardner Prize.

"Blumenthal writes in a style that is pure, simple, loving, lyrical, utterly accessible, and full of emotion." - Library Journal

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the wages of goodness cover

The Wages Of Goodness

“Blumenthal is witty, profound, erotic, playful, ironic, elegiac and, in his bleakest moments, closest to praise. His voice is like no other… His music is haunting, and utterly new.”
The Nation
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sympathetic magic cover
Sympathetic Magic: Poems

Water Mark Poets of North America First Book Prize.

"The last first book I remember as having this strangeness and distinction was called Hamonium." Howard Nemerov

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Engel, Vögel, Lieder

A selection of poems from the author's three most recent books, Dusty Angel (1999), And  (2009) and No Hurry (2012).

Selected and translated into German by Irmgard Hunt.

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Zum Affen werden

A startling tale of the friendship between a poet and son of Holocaust refugees and a former member of the Hitler Youth, Rita Miljo, who created South Africa's C.A.R.E. Foundation, devoted to the rescue of orphaned infant baboons.

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Copyright © 2010 Micheal Blumenthal