Alicia Jo Rabins is a poet, composer, performer and Torah scholar currently based in Portland, Oregon.
Alicia's poems appear in American Poetry Review, Boston Review, Ploughshares, 6x6, Court Green, and anthologies from NYU Press and Knopf. A classically trained violinist since the age of three, Alicia is the songwriter and bandleader of Girls in Trouble, an art-pop song cycle about the complicated lives of women in Torah, which has performed across the US, Canada and Europe, released two albums, and garnered critical praise from Huffington Post, the New Yorker, and LA Weekly. Rabins' theater work, “A Kaddish for Bernie Madoff,” a solo chamber-rock opera about the spiritual implications of the financial collapse, premiered at Joe's Pub in NYC and was selected by the Willamette Week as one of Portland's top five theater performances of 2014. Her poetry book DIVINITY SCHOOL was awarded the APR/Honickman First Book Prize and is forthcoming from Copper Canyon in September 2015.
For eight years Alicia was the fiddle player in pioneering klezmer-punk band Golem, and she has received grants and scholarships from Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Bread Loaf Writers Conference, the Six Points Fellowship, and the LABA Fellowship at the 14th St Y. She received the 2012 Sarah Verdone Writing Award from Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and served as a cultural ambassador for the US State Department, performing American fiddle music and songs in Central America and Kuwait.
An experienced and dedicated Jewish educator, in 2010 Alicia founded Personal Torah, offering creative, meaningful bar/bat mitzvah preparation and adult Torah study in person and online. She currently holds grants from the Covenant Foundation and the Joshua Venture Group to support the creation of an arts-based curriculum about women in Torah linked to her Girls in Trouble song cycle. Alicia has presented at the New School, Lewis and Clark College, Hebrew Union College, and numerous Jewish Studies conferences. She holds a BA in English and Creative Writing from Barnard College, an MFA in poetry from Warren Wilson College and an MA in Jewish Gender and Women's Studies from the Jewish Theological Seminary, and studied for two years at the Pardes Institute for Jewish Studies in Jerusalem. She lives in North Portland with her husband, bassist Aaron Hartman, and their two young children.