Back to Back by E.L. Freifeld & Lois Michal Unger

About the Authors:



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Official Book Launch May 27, 2014
Tel Aviv Israel

IAWE, The Israel Association of Writers in English and Edgar & Lenore's Publishing House are proud to announce the publication and launching of ‘Back to Back: Two Poets Under One Roof’ by E. L. Freifeld and Lois Michal Unger.

Although there have been other married couples who were both writers - Raymond Carver and Tess Gallagher, Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Shelley, Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning - ‘Back to Back' is a milestone in the history of ancient and modern literature. This unique concept of joining two well known poets who live together, in one volume, presents the reader with a unique perspective on husband and wife sides of the poetic moon. 

These two poets of immensely differing talents are this generation’s renaissance couple.

Freifeld and Unger will be joined in a bi-lingual reading by Karen Alkalay-Gut, Celia Merlin, Michael Dickel and Courtney Druz in English; with Rafi Weichert, Gili Haimovich and Zvika Szternfeld reading translations in Hebrew by Oded Peled, Michal Dar-el, Orit Kruglanski, Gili Haimovich and Zvika Szternfeld.

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In Back to Back: Two Poets Under One Roof E.L. Freifeld & Lois Michal Unger marry their words together in this unique dual collective of poetry.  

E.L. Freifeld's Black Hotel is a tribute to the author's unique and inspiring life from the U.S. to Israel, where he currently resides. Elazar's poetry is memoir-ish, indulgently wise and unapologetic. A cornucopia of dark spells and the alchemy of love, each moment lived to maximum potential.

Lois Michal Unger's It All Goes Round In My Head is a poignant & unique collection of poetry which shares a succinct view of life through the keen eye of experience.  Lois' musings are poetical multivitamins, or a B-12 shot  of wise & wonderful.

Together in one book these two unique voices,  approach some of the same themes with refreshing juxtapose and what readers will experience is unequivocally an intimate look into one of the grandest love stories of our time.


"The poems in Back to Back are deeply rooted in the kind of life, light and darkness that blooms and sings best in the spaces between the pressed flesh of lovers. The music here is rich, in the moment, on fire with life... It is in this very place we discover the natural bridge these two souls form when read together. One that can never burn, spanning time and continent. An eclectic, electric main line from Brooklyn to Tel Aviv and all of those soulful, heart food/heartache joints in between." FULL INTRODUCTION               

William Crawford - Author of Fire in the Marrow & Actual Tigers


"poetry now, which also partly (and necessarily) feeds off such continuous threatening atmosphere, as been instilled in youth yet also still as lively manner of being geopolitically "embedded", needs its fierceness and its frailty both. it is the mysterious force binding them together, "back to back", lovingly sharing an existence not only in love "after all those years" but also being productive and actualist poets able to, mutually, "give it a look first" as connoisseurs and critics of  both their poetries themselves. somehow this "back to back-vignette" radiates the power as also being condensed in the star of David, with its strong lines, its secret heliotropism as it follows the Mediterranean sun and the rich content of its intricate emblem of a people, willing never to give up such majestic and strewn identity." FULL REVIEW

Aad De Gids - Poet

"Elazar and Lois are a couple of poets I started reading because I found their work profound, yet unique as they are as individuals. Elazar writes with intense emotion and grand decorum, whereas Lois is more subtle and practical in her approach. She gives you as few lines as needed, while Elazar doesn't seem to be concerned with giving his readers more than enough, even when the topic is uncomfortable. Each uniquely uses their gifts to astound and sometimes wrench the guts out of their reader. They are this generations renaissance couple. Two talented peas standing out from their pod. Here, they never disappoint."

Cyndi Dawson, poet and lead singer of the Cynz

"Lois and Larry’s writing emerge from direct experiences. The language is as close to the reality of experience as can be. There seem to be no frills or distance in the work. If Lois writes of childhood, she is a child. Both poets strive for this voice of immediacy and reality. Even the pace of Larry’s line breaks add to the sense of authenticity. These are poets who have worked hard to make poetry an integral part of their daily breath."

Professor Karen Alkalay - Gut, Department of English, Tel Aviv University 

"When two giant talents like Elazar Larry Freifeld and Lois Michal Unger have lived under one roof for so many decades, the complementary styles evolve into a common thread. Larry's streetwise tales of the Bronx and of magical locales such as Galapagos and Ayacucho, take advantage on occasion of Lois's sparse and intuitive use of language. Lois winks her way through direct poems of her beloved, such as 'Wife Accused' and 'Poems About You.' Elazar introduces us, in his poem 'Goodbye Gutenberg,' to an era already upon us when the printed word will die. Lois's 'It All Goes Round In My Head' uses the whirlwind of a wine buzz to describe the moments when the moorings of this particular life spin madly, as hints of other lives creep in. Every page in this dual collection buzzes with wisdom and joy."   

Loring Worbel – poet and publisher of Poetry West

"With all the differences between their works their poems are endowed with wisdom and humor. Hers are short, tight poems, meticulous and thoughtful. His, poems with great musical momentum and ironic rhetorical patterns. In this book they write of their worlds, autonomous though side by side, as well as many poems about each other and to each other in an ongoing conversation over the decades between America and Israel.

I always await with great curiosity to see what will come next." FULL REVIEW

Rafi Weichert - Poet, translator and Editor in Chief "Keshev Publishing House"

"In the cottage of Lois & Larry’s love, she is the walls and he’s all windows and doors. You can often see him cheerfully waving his arms while she silently dances among the rooms. In the cottage of Unger & Freifeld’s poetry (which reminds one of the creative collaboration between Raymond Carver and Tess Gallagher), walls are torn down to reveal her true feelings, while her poet companion peers through the windows at an unceasingly swarming and dangerous world. Unger’s voice is full of abracadabras which send the reader sitting straightway next to the people in her poems. Freifeld—also a photographer—is the witty eye set both on yesterday and today. Ask him something and his words will be as rich as a shot taken on Tel Aviv's Rothschild Boulevard, during a demonstration. Ask her and she’ll give you two simple words that will plunge you into a daze of witchery, all too human."

Storie Magazine/Leconte Publications, Rome