Review of Kim Dower’s I WORE THIS DRESS TODAY FOR YOU, MOM featured in Jewish Book Council!

Many Amer­i­can Jews are unaf­fil­i­at­ed with Judaism. Some do not observe Jew­ish rit­u­als in any reg­u­lar way; oth­ers might not wor­ship at all. And yet Jew­ish­ness still per­vades their lives: in food, in atti­tude, in ways of speak­ing, and — of course — in that wry sense of humor that is marked by self-dep­re­ca­tion and a slight satir­i­cal impulse. What con­tem­po­rary poet speaks for those of us who do not know Yid­dish or Hebrew, who do not attend ser­vices, who eat BLTs, and who might even go shop­ping on Yom Kippur?

Enter poet Kim Dow­er, whose lat­est poet­ry col­lec­tion is a Jew­ish­ly infused valen­tine to her moth­er, to all moth­ers, and to ​“every­one who has a mother.” 

Ground­ed in an ear­ly mem­o­ry that func­tions as a warn­ing — ​“Don’t get used to this” — the title poem describes a Jew­ish iden­ti­ty that is almost assim­i­lat­ed but that nonethe­less pro­claims itself: