Michael Blumenthal


Michael Blumenthal, born 1949 in Vineland, New Jersey, is the former Director of Creative Writing at Harvard, and graduated from the Cornell Law School with a J.D. degree in 1974. His eighth book of poems, No Hurry: Poems 2000-2012, has was published by Etruscan Press in 2012. He is the author of the memoir All My Mothers and Fathers, a collection of essays from Central Europe, When History Enters the House, and the novel Weinstock Among the Dying, which won Hadassah Magazine's Harold U. Ribelow Prize for the best work of Jewish fiction. Five of his books were recently published in Germany by Verlag André Thiele of Mainz. He has three new books out in 2014: Just Three Minutes, Please: Essays from National Public Radio; The Greatest Jewish-American Love in Hungarian History: Short Stories, and "Because They Needed Me. The Incredible Struggle of Rita Miljo To Save The Baboons of South Africa," and is presently Co-Director of the Immigration Clinic at The West Virginia University College of Law.

Ways to Connect

Close your eyes for a moment and imagine what you would do with seventy-five million dollars. Better yet, close your eyes again and imagine how much suffering, how much disease, how much poverty and homelessness, how much gross inequality, that seventy-five million dollars might relieve.

Now open your eyes and go take a look at WVU's Milan Puskar Football Stadium. Because that's where-- with the recent approval of the WVU Board of Governors-- those $75 million are about to go.

For those of us who like to make up our own minds about who, what, and how we are, this is a strange country, where U.S. News and World Report, TIME Magazine and the Gallup Poll profess to know more about our human condition than we do ourselves.

According to those harbingers of happiness and taste, for example, I and my fellow West Virginias  are now served by (and, in my case, teach at) the nation's eighty-third best law school (up from ninety-ninth in a single year) and reside in its unhappiest, unhealthiest and most obese State.