A Little History

in the library
© Yiftach Paltrowitz, 2010

Beginning in the 1980s, KJ Hannah Greenberg was a respondent at scholarly conferences and for scholarly periodicals. She also served on the staff of Three Rivers Poetry Journal. Sometime thereafter, namely, in the 1990s, she left academia to parent her sons and daughters, all of whom took the requisite decades to become emerging adults. During that span, Hannah was too busy to even contemplate her navel. Add to that mix three grandbabies, and it seemed dubious that she’d ever proceed in a straightforward manner per left-field scrivening.

If, during that phase, Hannah had had five more minutes, she would have baked quinoa pie and fed it to her imaginary hedgehogs. Instead, she made do with stealing sleep and laughter. Besides, on rare, alternate Tuesdays, Hannah and her furz-pigs flew the galaxy in search of adventures.

More exactly, three decades ago, while focused on her children, Hannah eked out: a novel, a ream of poetry, and a couple of cute, nonfiction pieces that referenced the “growth opportunities” concomitant to parenting. However, Hannah stashed those treasures instead of finessing them because she was too preoccupied mopping carpets, diapering doll bottoms, and chopping beans. Meanwhile, to distract herself from unpleasant motherhood moments, she taught calculus to high school students and conducted university classes in Argumentation and Debate, Interpersonal Communication, and Feminist Sociology (Hannah holds both a B.S. in Technical [Science] Writing and Editing from Carnegie-Mellon University and a Ph.D. in Rhetoric from The University of Massachusetts.)

When, in 2005, Hannah and her family relocated to “the other side of the world,” her life changed. Specifically, upon entertaining some female friends with a tall tale about falafel balls, preteen fashion sense, and “special American pricing,” Hannah was told to keep her hot sauce to herself, to realign her skirt, and to return to knocking out narratives.

A multi-year stint blogging about intercultural communication, for The Jerusalem Post, followed as did a few months of teaching chemistry. Simultaneously, Hannah made the discovery that local, dumpster cats are really “squirrels.” What’s more, she edited a paper, for the Weizmann Institute, on the effects of electrical stimulus on the hippocampus, and diffidently wrote a handful of stories for venues like Mishpacha’s Calligraphy and Mid-century Modern Moms. Withal, she bought a pair of very large earrings, judged nonfiction for Notes & Grace Notes, became “Poet of the Week” at Poetry Super Highway and established Expressively Yours Writing Workshops.

During the summer of 2008, ultimately frustrated with her inability to lecture locally on discourse (her Hebrew was lacking), Hannah rededicated her verbal zest to distant points. Specifically, she dusted off her keyboard and began to churn out more smoothies, vegetable soup, and original works than might be considered proper for a middle-aged mom.

By 2009, Hannah began blogging for the USA’s Type-A Parent, began penning a column for the UK’s The Mother Magazine, began serving as a nonfiction and poetry Associate Editor at Sotto Voce and as an Associate Editor of short and flash fiction for Bewildering Stories. She received her first Pushcart Prize nomination that year for her poem “Faltering in Ways Uncharted.”

2010 found Hannah formulating monthly critiques of short stories, novelettes and novellas for Tangent, the speculative fiction review, and blogging for Australia’s Kindred. That year, likewise, French Creek Press published Oblivious to the Obvious: Wishfully Mindful Parenting, a collection of Hannah’s humorous essays.

In 2011, Hannah edited short and flash fiction for Bound Off, began a blog about Judaism for The Jerusalem Post, brought her workshops to the Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel, and joined the line up at Natural Jewish Parenting. She received a second Pushcart Prize nomination for her poem, “Apple,” and celebrated the publication of another poetry collection, A Bank Robber’s Bad Luck with His Ex-Girlfriend, by UnboundCONTENT.

2012 saw four of Hannah’s books published; the first edition of Don’t Pet the Sweaty Things, a flash and short story collection, by Bards & Sages Publishing; Fluid & Crystallized, a poetry chapbook, by Fowlpox Press; Supernal Factors, a poetry chapbook, by The Camel Saloon Books on Blog; and Intelligence’s Vast Bonfires, a poetry collection, by Lazarus Media. As well, Hannah was nominated for The Best of the Net for her poem, “Halfway to Naked.”

In 2013, Hannah’s Citrus-Inspired Ceramics, a poetry collection, was published by Aldrich Press. Plus, the first edition of The Immediacy of Emotional Kerfuffles, a flash and short story collection, was printed by Bards & Sages Publishing. Hannah was nominated for the Million Writers Award for her short story, “Defense,” and was nominated, for a third time, for the Pushcart Prize, for her poem “Silver Moss Fingers.” Additionally, Hannah brought her workshops to the OU Israel Center in Jerusalem, began to facilitate annual retreats, taught an advanced course in book writing and publishing, and began to teach remotely.

In 2014, three of Hannah’s books were published; the poetry collection, The Little Temple of My Sleeping Bag, by Dancing Girl Press, the poetry chapbook, Dancing with Hedgehogs, by Fowlpox Press, and the second edition of her fiction collection Don’t Pet the Sweaty Things, by Bards & Sages Publishing. Moreover, Hannah led another writing retreat in Tzfat, and again provided face-to-face courses in her home.

2015 was the year that Hannah left behind blogging to focus on cultivating books. Among her publications that year were the flash and short story collection, Cryptids, by Bards & Sages Publishing, the second edition of The Immediacy of Emotional Kerfuffles, by Bards & Sages Publishing, Jerusalem Sunrise, an essay collection, by Imago Press, and Word Citizen: Uncommon Thoughts on Writing, Motherhood & Life in Jerusalem, an essay collection, by Tailwinds Press. Character Development, Plot Development, Dialogue, Descriptive Writing, and Tone were among the remote courses that she taught. Hannah’s story, “Grit,” granted her a fourth nomination for a Pushcart Prize and her tale, “Elizabeth Steppe and the Observation Car,” was named Best Story of the Year by Calliope, MENSA’s literary magazine.

In 2016, Lit Fest Press published A Grand Sociology Lesson, a poetry collection, and Bards & Sages Publishing launched Hannah’s flash and short story collection, Friends and Rabid Hedgehogs. Hannah continued to offer Internet workshops on topics such as: Rewriting, Style, and Audience. As well, she served on the Writers Advisory Board of Authors.me.

Hannah’s 2017 books were: the fiction collection, Can I be Rare, Too, by Bards & Sages Publishing, the novel, Ten Kilo and One Million, by Crooked Cats Books, the serialized novel, developed with Rivka Gross, and published in Tachlis Magazine, My Neighbor Judy, the poetry collection, Mothers Ought to Utter Only Niceties by UnboundCONTENT, the essay collection, Dreams are for Coloring Books: Midlife Marvels, by Seashell Books, and the essay collection, Tosh: Select Trash and Bosh of Creative Writing, by Crooked Cat Books. Furthermore, in 2017, Hannah served as the judge for Brilliant Flash Fiction’s contest, “The Dubash,” taught multiple courses, including Writing Manuscript Critiques, and Autobiography Writing, and began a Jerusalem Post blog on the publishing industry, “Word Citizen.”

In 2018, a compendium of Hannah’s first five volumes of collected brief fictions, Concatenation, was released by Bards & Sages Publishing. Rhetorical Candy and On Golden Limestone, the second and third volumes, respectively, in Hannah’s series of collected essays about Israel, were published by Seashell Books, too. To boot, Hannah was a remote presenter at the Bridgewater International Poetry Festival.

In 2019, Seashell Press published the fourth volume of essays in Hannah’s Israel Series, Whistling for Salvation, together with a volume of poetry, The Wife/Mom. Hannah similarly worked with Bards & Sages Publishing to produce a seventh volume of flash and short fiction, Walnut Street. Fomite Press published her Beast There--Don’t That, a poetry chapbook, and Hannah was again a remote speaker at the annual Bridgewater International Poetry Festival.

In 2020, Seashell Press published a compendium of five volumes of Hannah’s essays, Smiling and Nodding with Alacrity, along with a new essay collection The Nexus of the Sun, the Moon, and Mother. Seashell Press also published Hannah’s poetry collection, Rudiments, and Bards & Sages Publishing printed Hannah’s eighth brief fiction collection, Demurral: Linens and Towels and Fears. Propertius Press published Hannah’s essay collection, Simple Gratitudes, and then nominated that book for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay.

2021 saw Seashell Press’ publication of Hannah’s essay collection, Sweet and Sour: Womanly Thoughts and of her poetry collection, Flames and Fire. Also in 2021, Hekate Publishing launched Hannah’s art and poetry collection, One-Handed Pianist.

2022 saw Fomite Press issue Hannah's short story collection, Owmapow Rides Again. Future 2022 books will include Bards & Sages Publishing's Eternal, Not Ephemeral, a short story collection, and Bewildering Stories' serialization of the speculative fiction novel, The Ill-Advised Adventures of Jim-Jam O’Neily. To boot, Eden Stories Press is scheduled to issue the novel, Upon the Lion and the Serpent and Seshell Press promises to serve up the first two volumes of the multi-volume essay collection, Granny Does It.