"Oh Memory, You Unlocked Cabinet of Amazements!" by Judy Kronenfeld

  • "Oh Memory, You Unlocked Cabinet of Amazements!" by Judy Kronenfeld

Oh Memory, You Unlocked Cabinet of Amazements! is a paeon to the author’s mid-twentieth century Bronx childhood as the sole offspring of warmly loving—if sometimes provincial, overprotective, or embarrassing—immigrant parents. It is also about the wonder of lifelong memory itself, of how the past continually offers itself up as a field to contemplate, a field of rediscovery and new discovery of one’s native landscape, and of the actions, rituals, and language—with all their redolence and significance—of those long gone whom one still loves.


Judy Kronenfeld


Judy Kronenfeld’s fifth full-length book of poetry, and seventh collection, Groaning and Singing (FutureCycle) came out in 2022 and If Only There Were Stations of the Air, a chapbook of poems, was released by Sheila-Na-Gig Editions in 2024. Previous books include Bird Flying through the Banquet (FutureCycle, 2017), Shimmer (WordTech, 2012), and Light Lowering in Diminished Sevenths, winner of the 2007 Litchfield Review Poetry Book Prize (2nd ed, Antrim House, 2012). Her poems have appeared in more than four dozen anthologies and in many journals including Cider Press Review, Gyroscope Review, MacQueen’s Quinterly, New Ohio Review, Offcourse, One Art, Rattle, Sheila-Na-Gig, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Verdad and Your Daily Poem.
A Stanford PhD in English, Judy has also published short stories, creative nonfiction, and criticism, including King Lear and the Naked Truth (Duke, 1998)—a rather muckraking book challenging post-structuralist Shakespeare criticism on historical and linguistic grounds. She is a four-time Pushcart nominee and has also been nominated for Best of the Net and serves as an Associate Editor of Poemeleon.
Judy taught English Literature at UC Riverside, UC Irvine and Purdue University, and is now Lecturer Emerita, Creative Writing Department, UC Riverside, having retired in 2009 after more than two decades teaching there. She has attempted, but is never sure she has succeeded at crossing the boundary between the divided and distinguished worlds of academic criticism and creative writing. A native New Yorker, raised in the Bronx, Judy has lived most of her life in Riverside, California, with her anthropologist husband. Their middle-aged children and four grandchildren live (way too!) far away in Maryland.

Website: judykronenfeld.com

Facebook: judy.kronenfeld

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Tags: poetry; family; Yiddish; Bronx;childhood;immigrants; first-generation;memory