Description of Work
Laura's plays, poems and stories focus on people, places and things that human beings tend to avoid. Outcasts, underdogs and the overlooked. She uses focused observations to unearth fragments of history, bits of the natural world and the human ecosystem. Weeds, tendrils, tufts of grass that thrive between slabs of sidewalk, all of these concern her. Phenomena found in the landscape inspire her work, which often revolves around family and links to homeland, in its many definitions. Unconventional language, new sentence structure and staccato construction interspersed with flowing descriptions are the hallmarks of my written word. She likes to coax paragraphs off the page, into performance, conversation, doodles and collaborations with designers, singers, visual artists and passersby.
Laura Silver is a writer, performer and the world’s leading knish expert. She is a writer in residence at the New York Public Library’s Wertheim Study, a research associate at the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute of Brandeis University and the author of 'The Book of Knish', forthcoming from Brandeis University Press. Her writing on food and culture has appeared on National Public Radio, WNYC and in the New York Times. She has received grants from the Banff Centre for the Arts, the Lilly Foundation and the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research and has been a writer in residencies at the Millay Colony for the Arts, the Tofte Lake Center and the Wellspring House. Speaking credits include the Museum of Arts and Design, the New York Public Library and TEDx. Last fall, she premiered an online course “Jewish Food Through Song and Film.” She has led a half-dozen collective baking sessions and one costumed knish processional. Laura has been an outreach worker to the homeless, a poll worker, a United Nations tour guide and a leader of poetry tours in Central Park. She is a native New Yorker who has lived in Israel, France and Senegal and has spent time in Mexico, Argentina, Poland and Germany. An avid cyclist, intrepid explorer and a lover of languages, Laura speaks French, basic Spanish, street Hebrew and a bisl Yiddish. She is looking forward to late-night conversations, creative partnerships and opportunities to collaborate on an opera, song cycle, graphic novel or whatever strikes your fancy.
"Knish Alley Revival" -October 2010