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The Auschwitz Cookbook by David Almaleck Wolinsky
David Almaleck Wolinsky is a graybeard who is still trying to understand humankind and his place in it. Musically inapt except as listener, he writes poetry. Astonished by what we do to each other and the planet, he shows up when he can to work for peace and climate justice. All of that happens “in between” helping care for two ancient mothers at home, and 3 nearby, non-biolgical grandchildren. When he was 47, he became a beginner middle school teacher in the Baltimore ghetto, and spent the best and most brutal 6 years of his life learning from those kids.
His primary instructors have been love… and fear. The rocks and trees around his home in central Maryland help immeasurably too, as does his wife. He stuck “Almaleck” into his name to honor his Jewish grandmother and Al-Andalus: Spain of a thousand years ago. The Dalai Lama, among others, would understand how that epoch gave us a Jewish general and vizier (sort of Prime Minister) to a Muslim ruler. Samuel Hanagid’s Hebrew poetry is still translated today.
Other dedications: Franz Schubert, Noam Chomsky, Bill Mckibben, Atahualpa Yupanqui, Bill Shakespeare. Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan. Josquin DesPres, Cesaria Evora and Salif Keta. Rhiannon Giddens lately, Sweet Honey, and everyone who ever sang the blues.
A few ruminations and poems can be found at his rarely-maintained blog: https://davichon.wordpress.com/
His first book, “The Crane is Flying: Early Poems,” will be published by Dos Madres Press in 2016.
© David Almaleck Wolinsky