Yehoshua November earned a BA at Binghamton University and an MFA at the University of Pittsburgh. As his commitment to his Orthodox Jewish faith deepened, November stopped writing poetry and enrolled in yeshiva, until, with his rabbis’ encouragement, he began to write again after two years’ silence. He is the author of the poetry collections Two Worlds Exist (2016) and God’s Optimism (2010), which won the Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award and was a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize, the Autumn House Poetry Prize, and the Tampa Review Prize for Poetry.
In his poems, November tracks the shifting intersection of faith, daily life, and poetry. In a 2010 interview with Ed Litvak for The Lo-Down, November stated, “I think it’s important to explore how most people, even if they look as if everything is in order, are facing challenges. Art that doesn’t express conflict always falls flat because it’s not true to human experience.” In a review of God’s Optimism for The Jewish Daily Forward, Eve Grubin observes, “November’s craft is elegant, with its simple imagery and confident end-stopped lines; however, what makes his writing stand out are his two years in yeshiva, which provide the poems with a spiritual foundation.” His poetry has been featured on Garrison Keillor’s National Public Radio program “The Writer’s Almanac,” has won Prairie Schooner’s Bernice Slote Award and has been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes.
November has taught at Rutgers University and Touro College. He lives with his family in Morristown, New Jersey.