Howard Schwartz is Professor Emeritus at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He has published five books of poetry, Vessels, Gathering the Sparks, Sleepwalking Beneath the Stars, and The Library of Dreams. His books of fiction include The Four Who Entered Paradise and Adam’s Soul. He has also edited a four-volume set of Jewish folktales, which includes Elijah’s Violin & Other Jewish Fairy Tales, Miriam’s Tambourine: Jewish Folktales from Around the World, Lilith’s Cave: Jewish Tales of the Supernatural and, most recently, Gabriel’s Palace: Jewish Mystical Tales. His book of essays, Reimagining the Bible: The Storytelling of the Rabbis, was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award for 1999. In addition, Schwartz has also published twelve children’s books, including The Diamond Tree, (which won the Sydney Taylor Book Award in 1992), Next Year in Jerusalem: 3000 Years of Jewish Tales (which won the National Jewish Book Award and the Aesop Award of the American Folklore Society, both in 1996), A Coat for the Moon (which won Anne Izard Storyteller’s Choice Award for 1998 and the 1999 Honor Title of the Storytelling World Awards), The Day the Rabbi Disappeared: Jewish Holiday Tales of Magic (which won the National Jewish Book Award and The Aesop Prize of the American Folklore Society for 2000), Before You Were Born (which won the Koret Award in 2006), and Gathering Sparks, (which won the Sydney Taylor Book Award in 2011.) His book Tree of Souls: The Mythology of Judaism, won the National Jewish Book Award in 2005. His most recent books are Leaves from the Garden of Eden: One Hundred Classic Jewish Tales (2008) and The Library of Dreams: New and Selected Poems, 1965-2013 (2013).
Captain’s log: These dream-poems posted for Midsummer, are reminiscent of a beloved book from the Mothership’s mostly misspent youth–Schwartz’s Imperial Messages–an anthology of short works that include cosmonauts, angels, mirrors, and magical maps, by folks like Borges, Dinesen, Artaud, Michaux, Bashevis-Singer, Yourcenar and others.