Merle Feld is a poet, playwright, educator and activist. In her most recent book, Longing, poems of a life (CCAR Press 2023), poems trace stories of trauma and challenge, resilience and blessing. In sending her words out into the world, Merle hopes they will help readers explore their own lives with courage and curiosity.

A pioneer in the field of Jewish spiritual writing practice, Merle has found her greatest joy mentoring rabbis of all denominations, guiding them to find and speak from their deeply authentic selves. In 2005, she co-founded Derekh.org, offering rich virtual programming and community building on multiple themes, including new ways of preparing for the yearly holiday cycle.

Merle is perhaps best known through her poems in the prayer books Mahzor Lev Shalem, Siddur Lev Shalem, The Torah: A Woman’s Commentary and many other volumes, as well as in her own books, A Spiritual Life (SUNY Press 2007 revised ed), Finding Words (Behrman House 2011), and most recently, Longing. Her award-winning play The Gates are Closing has been performed in hundreds of synagogues continuously since 1985. Another play, Across the Jordan, was inspired by her experiences as dialogue facilitator on the West Bank and at Seeds of Peace and is included in the first anthology of Jewish women playwrights, Making a Scene (Syracuse University Press 1997).

Please be in touch if you're interested in Merle offering a reading for your community; if you'd like to use one of her books for your book group (Merle has developed a thoughtful discussion guide for each book); or if you'd just like to chat about her work.