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Two Worlds Exist

poems by Yehoshua November


Finalist for the 2016 National Jewish Book Award in Poetry and the 2017 Paterson Poetry Prize


Read "Prayer" from Two Worlds Exist in The New York Times Magazine!

Orison Books
paper  / 76 pp.  /  $16.00
ISBN: 978-09906917-9-2
Distributed to the trade by Itasca Books
1-800-901-3480  /
Publication Date: November 1, 2016




Yehoshua November's second poetry collection, Two Worlds Exist, movingly examines the harmonies and dissonances involved in practicing an ancient religious tradition in contemporary America. November's beautiful and profound meditations on work and family life, and the intersections of the sacred and the secular, invite the reader—regardless of background—to imaginatively inhabit a life of religious devotion in the midst of our society's commotion.




Yehoshua November integrates his Orthodox Judaism with the everyday, through poems of radical clarity. Throughout his work, he shows that religious faith can be compatible with a poetry of deep, uncertain feeling.

The New York Times Magazine


November manages to bring the same gravity and grace to both the common and the cosmic.
The Rumpus


[November's poems] spiral from the quotidian to the otherworldly, and back again. Each nearly bursts from its taut parameters, aching with sorrow and reverence, stitched with humility, love and pain, pulsing with passions both earthly and divine.
The Chicago Tribune


November inspires, welcomes, surprises, enriches, wrestles and consoles in these poems that matter.
The New York Jewish Week


These poems are like a documentary film—close to life, narrating episodes from everyday life (many of them happening within the Chassidic community). But under the skin of these poems a flame of passion—or compassion—is hidden. Hidden and palpable at the same time. That's how Yehoshua November creates such beautiful surprises for his readers.
Adam Zagajewski

I have read these beautiful poems many times over. Each time I find something new and wonderful and deeper and more spiritual therein. Two Worlds Exist is an even stronger book than November's first collection. So full of sorrow and humility and reverence, love and pain and the actual stuff of our lives—the guilt of the small cruelties we inflict; the large cruelties life inflicts; wavering and unwavering faith that there is something greater than ourselves behind it all.
Liz Rosenberg

Yehoshua November's poems are deeply felt, carefully crafted, insightful, and moving. While contemporary American literary culture tends to view "religious" and "literary" values in opposition, November's poetry brilliantly bridges this divide. He writes with tenderness, understanding, and disarming modesty; at the same time, his characteristic subjects—the challenges posed by married life, child rearing, and suffering, both physical and spiritual—are among the great subjects of literature and life.
David Caplan




Yehoshua November is the author of two books of poetry, God’s Optimism, a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize, and Two Worlds Exist, a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award and the Paterson Poetry Prize. His poems have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Sun Magazine, Prairie Schooner, VQR, and on NPR. November teaches writing at Rutgers University and Touro College.

Two Worlds Exist, poems by Yehoshua November

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