Category Archives: Translation

Contemporary Hebrew Poetry 2

hebrew photoTel Aviv coastline © Liat Simon

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I would like to express my thanks to Liat Simon and her team of translators for the xxxmeticulous care that has been put into the production of these translations which give ample testimony to the richness and variety of contemporary poetry in Hebrew. Ed.

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INTRODUCTION

The group of poets I chose to showcase in this supplement includes some of the most xxxeminent names in Hebrew poetry alongside some up-and-coming ones, oozing with promise and potential. Collectively, they accurately represent the various generations that comprise contemporary Hebrew poetry.

Almost all of the exciting translations featured in this selection are new and previously unpublished, and are exposed to English readers for the very first time here, on The High Window. Although the styles and themes of the poems assembled are diverse, there is a notion that unites them all: a meditation on life, death and their reflection in poetry. That is to say, these poems question the way in which we weave together words to try and understand the world around us. In collating the poems, putting them side by side, I have endeavoured to create a kind of timeline – a journey, if you will – that starts with a contemplation of life and ends with a recognition of death. Editing this supplement has also been a journey, a challenging and thrilling one.

Curating the translations of these poems, some of which are personal favourites of mine, was an honour and a privilege. Most of all, it was a labour of love. I am grateful to the poets and their exceptional translators for granting me the opportunity to present their work here. LS

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Previous Translations

THW24: French • THW23: Italian • THW22: Russian • THW 21: Austrian • THW 20: Macedonian • THW 19:  Swiss-German • THW 19: Spanish • THW 17: Franco-Canadian  • THW 16: Modern Greek  • THW 15: Kazakh • THW 14: Hungarian • THW 13: Polish  • THW 12: Classics • THW 11: Catalan • THW10: Hispanic • THW 9: Hebrew • THW 8: Bulgarian • THW 7:  Japanese  • THW 6: Dutch  • THW 5: Portuguese  • THW 4: French  THW 3: Italian • THW 2: German • THW 1: Italian

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The Poets

Hezy LesklyIsrael ElirazSharron Hass Agi MisholMaya Tevet DayanSharon Arik CohenEli EliahuShimon AdafDavid AvidanHedva Harechavi

The Translators

Adriana X. Jacobs • Liat Simon • Marcela Sulak • Joanna Chen • Jane Medved • Becka Mara McKay • Tsipi Keller • Linda Stern Zisquit

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Hezy Leskly: A poem translated by Adriana X. Jacobs
From The Mice and Leah Goldberg, published in Hebrew in 1992 by Bitan

Hezy Leskly cropped

POETRY

Poetry must stand up and speak.
Stand on the broken-down washing machine and speak
in the language of the sock that caused
the breakdown.
Poetry must stand on the windowsill and speak
the language of those who stand on windowsills.
Poetry must dance
and squeak in the language of the mouse living
under the stage alarmed
by the excessive tenderness of the dance.
Poetry must knock silently
or madly on the door.
Not pressing the bell.
Poetry must go to Barcelona and speak
xxxx xxEng-lish.
Poetry must rest, mostly rest.
Poetry doesn’t have to be poetry.
It can be a word dessert.
Poetry can be a confiture,
in other words, dead and tasty fruit.
Poetry can be Sucrazit,
in other words, a toxic artificial sweetener.
Poetry can build
a residence
a hospital
a school
a prison
a synagogue

but it prefers
to discover
a milk-well in the city.
Poetry must sleep, sleep and dream about poetry.
Poetry must lie down, lie down and talk
in its sleep.
Poetry must be buried
in the earth
and speak in the language of the dead.
Poetry must care for the sick.
Poetry must fail itself,
xxxxxxxxxx  xlose itself,
betray itself,
desert and be deserted.
Poetry must live.

Hezy Leskly (1952-1994) was born in Rehovot, Israel, to Czech parents. He lived for several years in Holland where he studied performance and multi-media arts. Upon his return to Israel, he began a brief but productive career as a dance critic, playwright and choreographer. His first poetry collection, The Finger, appeared in 1986, and by the time of his death of AIDS, he was regarded as one of the major literary voices of his generation. His final collection, Dear Perverts, was published posthumously in 1994.

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Israel Eliraz: Four poems translated by Liat Simon
From How Much Time is Left is Not a Question but a Door, published in Hebrew in 2013 by Modan/Helicon

Israel Eliraz

***

The dimness will become clear and the thought
of happiness

will reach us too

before time transforms us.

Things must be done with
broad shoulders

and this is the time to say something
about that which

I never learnt how to discuss

***

It is impossible to begin
without loving the

day after day slope

and without knowing that names are objects
that partake in the world too

and

and  t o u c h i n g  means allowing others to touch you

***

Everything that you make makes you.

Between one eye and the other the bugs’ dance
piles up.

You look at the tree which grows,
without stopping, in the warmth
of your gaze

***

The things that are yet to come
are already forming

and accumulating enough power or
expertise

to stand tall and face the mighty flow of life

Israel Eliraz (1936-2016) was born in Jerusalem. From 1963 to 1980, he published three novels, a book of short stories and a number of plays and opera librettos. He started writing poetry in 1980 and went on to publish 36 poetry books. He was the recipient of numerous Israeli literary awards, such as the Natan Alterman Award (2002), the Bialik Prize (2008) and the Brenner Prize (2013), as well as an Honorary Citation by the French government. His poetry was translated into 11 languages.

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Sharron Hass: Three excerpts from ‘Hehasnoname’ translated by Marcela Sulak
From Music of the Wide Lane, published in Hebrew in 2015 by Afik/Helicon

Sharron Hass

*

And another thing, which I say when I step out from plural
returning
to first person

On earth
the muse and I are mysterious and horrible almost to the same degree.
I have the black blood and she the wreath of leaves
and the decapitated head isn’t prophesying
it’s blooming

*

No view of birth is complete
string of beads—chain—a winding coil—and break
maybe the sacrifice (a recurring destruction of desires)

is the thread—its beginning is there, before
the surrender to pleasure meets its other end
secret and enduring

*

What form could lovelessness wear in poetry?
Does it sabotage the poem to be unable
to roll—down a hill, to laugh—in the dark?

Sharron Hass, poet, essayist and author of six poetry collections, is a graduate of the Classics Department at Tel Aviv University and holds an MA degree in Religious Studies. She lectures on literature and poetry at the Alma Institute in Tel Aviv as well as at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, and teaches in the Creative Writing Program at Tel Aviv University. Translations of her poems into English and other languages appeared in anthologies of contemporary Israeli poetry. She is the recipient of several poetry awards, including the Hezy Leskly Award (1997), the Art Council Award (1998), the Prime Minister Award (2003), a Fulbright America-Israel Fellowship (2005), the Bialik Prize (2012), the Dolitsky Prize (2017) and the Amichai Poetry Prize (2018).

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Agi Mishol: Two poems translated by Joanna Chen
From Envelope, published in Hebrew in 2020 by Hakibbutz Hameuchad

agi trial
Photo by Pony Brzezinski

SIGNS

I lie lengthways
between the pages
like a silken bookmark
in the middle of a story about
a velvet box
with a slit for a ring
that is lost.
It’s all about signs,
confused winter flies
clinging to the heat of the windowpanes
also get dizzy
and fall.
We lose luster,
even the dog comes
to rest a paw on me.

THE YEAR OF THE CHAMELEON

I can no longer look the sun right in the eye
and jump toward it through a hoop of fire.
He who is born a leopard will leap
because that’s how he’s packaged,
but the one who is born a mosquito will hunt
for blood
and crackle
in the great ultraviolet light
of lust,
and she who is born a chameleon
will be pecked at by birds of the air
despite her gaping jaws, her incantations
and her rainbow colors
that alternate in terror.

Agi Mishol, poet, translator and creative writing teacher, was born in Transylvania, Romania, to Hungarian Holocaust survivors, who came to Israel when she was four. She has published 18 volumes of poetry, including two retrospective collections (in 2003 and in 2015). She is the recipient of the international Zbigniev Herbert Award in Poland, the Lerichipea Award in Italy, and the Prime Minister Award and the Yehuda Amichai Prize in Israel, among several other awards.

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Maya Tevet Dayan: Two poems translated by Jane Medved
From Wherever We Float, That’s Home, published in Hebrew in 2017 by Bialik Institute

Maya Tevet Dayan by Maya Haliva Alon cropped
Photo by Maya Haliva Alon

AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD

All summer long, hapless insects
crash into our windows.
And in the fall they hang
like strings from the sill,
caught up in dust,
thin black sketches of death.

There are many questions that don’t
have an answer: Are the souls
of all creatures the same size?
Why can’t we see beyond
that closed window? And what gives
birth to the rain?

Drops fall down every morning.
Once they were clouds and before that,
an ocean in whose shallow waters
we wade barefoot in summer.
And the waters are calm,
like clouds, like rain, like the imprint
of insects on a window sill.

WE RETURN FROM THE SEA

Our feet were stained with tar. The world
was yellow and its edges burnt.
The sky, the earth and the air were an ear
and we had so much to tell.
At home, my mother’s skin was still warm
and smelled sweet from coconut, from the sun,
from the water and from being alive.

The tar disappeared. The stains disappeared. The memory
of the stains. We didn’t even notice. The sky
straightened out its edges and grew white.
Life spread out flat and wide.
We were left with feet that were always clean,
and never said anything.

Maya Tevet Dayan has written three books of poetry, Let There Be Evening. Let There Be Chaos (2015), Wherever We Float, That’s Home (2017) and Coping Mechanisms (2021), as well as a novel, One Thousand Years to Wait (2011). She also writes literary-feminist essays for Israeli daily newspaper, Haaretz, and is a prominent voice in Israeli culture and thought today. She is the recipient of the Israeli Prime Minister Award for Literature (2018) and an honorable mention from the Kugel Poetry Prize (2016). English translations of her poems were published in World Literature Today, Rattle Magazine, Copper Nickel, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Modern Poetry in Translation, Asymptote, The New Quarterly and Literary Review of Canada.

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Sharon Arik Cohen: A poem translated by Joanna Chen
From Moroccan Rashomon, published in Hebrew in 2020 by ANI Publications

Sharon Arik Cohen by Ari Perri cropped
Photo by Ari Perri

47 | 2020

After my death I’ll miss the trees,
their trunks peeled of skin,

punctuated with leaves,
the laundered skies.

I’ll cradle other words,
devoid of vowels

full of consonants,
parentless phonemes.

Diaphanous stains
before my death.

Sharon Arik Cohen’s first collection of poetry, Moroccan Rashomon, was recently published to rave reviews in Israel. The book has now been translated into English, French and Persian. He owns and manages a talent agency in Tel Aviv.

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Eli Eliahu: Two poems translated by Marcela Sulak
From City and Fears, published in Hebrew in 2011 by Am Oved

Eli Eliahu cropped

COMPELLED TO FOLLOW THE WORDS

I drove, compelled to follow the words, the dream,
the prophecy. Carrying the cursed dust gospel
of the flesh. I was light as a prisoner, loaded
as a gun. I took nothing
with me but the body, to which
I was bonded.

Over my head
the moon spread light
on asphalt, like the beam
of a searchlight on the trail
of the fugitive.

FLIGHT

Now I am fleeing over the highway pulled by the light
of the moon. I’m fleeing as if some kind of Tarshish were around
the corner. The belief that motion is time clutches me, as I
step on the gas to distance myself from the gospel
of the flesh, from the prophets of heredity.

Fields plow the windows of the car,
racing trees, sometimes a sea, a village.
I steal a glance in the side mirror, what’s caught
in the retina, now it’s here, now it’s gone.

Now I am fleeing over the highway pulled by the light
of the moon. I’m fleeing a terrible message, driven by
childhood guilt, mercy on the momentary, on what fades,
on what’s crushed in the beam of the headlight, fleeing what comes.

Eli Eliahu, poet and editor at the daily newspaper Haaretz, studied Jewish Philosophy and Hebrew Literature at Tel Aviv University. He has published three highly praised poetry books, I, and Not an Angel (2008), City and Fears (2011) and Epistles to the Children (2018). His first collection was awarded the Education and Culture Ministry Prize for Debut Books (2008). His poems have been translated into English, French, Arabic, German and Turkish. He often collaborates with musicians, and his poems have been composed and featured in several notable Israeli rock albums. He has received the Matanel Prize for Young Jewish Writers (2013), the Prime Minister Award for Poetry (2014) and the Brenner Prize for Poetry (2019).

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Shimon Adaf: Three poems translated by Becka Mara McKay
From Kaleidoscope: Three Poets from Israel, published in 2014 by Mosaic Press

Shimon Adaf by Ronen Lalena cropped
Photo by Ronen Lalena

REMAINS

I escaped once.
Hidden in heavy grass like summer
lying on my back.

Heights betraying skies,
birds thin as saplings,
the searching voices are pale sparks
in the green dusty air.

I’ve been trying to return for years.
In the empty houses I bite my lips in vain.
Never again will dawn bleed in the window.
Only the distance sweats a thin darkness.
Night.
I’m facing the fierce war.

REGRESSION

Clouds above Tel Aviv and over October,
a month’s face aged before its time
dissolving in the rough tumult
like an old warehouse collapsing

at my back
because I’m heading south
I make the air younger.
Winds smoothed out like children, trees
less tangled in the anguish of growth

world under world
bellows of new lungs
breathing underground in a kind of darkness
light under light
leaf under leaf strikes the fences.

That which I thought shadow is the real body.

RESCUE FROM OBLIVION

2. Exit
It’s easy to know
that all of this will pass—
dense like poetry and like
a man I
go out in the rain
that still clenches
December
skies.

On Allenby, noisy songbirds pierce
storms of twittering
through the weakened
trees.

The words convulse easily and then
go to hell on the buses
filled heavily with human
flesh wanting too much.

The others are right.

It’s good to know that the world is temporary
that the suns are too sharp
to be engraved in a day or to allow me
vision.
At an hour like this
in this light,
even the cruelty
that a man turns on himself
is an illusion.

Shimon Adaf was born in Sderot, Israel, in 1972. He began publishing poetry during his military service. A poet, novelist and musician, he studied in the program for outstanding students at Tel Aviv University, simultaneously writing articles on literature, film and rock music for leading Israeli newspapers. He was also a founding member of the literary group Ev, whose aim was to find a new poetic interface between classical and modern Hebrew. He worked for several years as chief literary editor at Keter Publishing House, and has also been writer-in-residence at Iowa University. At present, he lectures on Hebrew Literature at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, and is head of the creative writing program there. He has been awarded the Ministry of Education Award (1996), the Prime Minister Award (2007), the Yehuda Amichai Prize for Poetry (2010), the Sapir Prize for his novel, Mox Nox (2012), and the Neuman Prize for Literature (2017).

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David Avidan: Two poems translated by Tsipi Keller
From Poets on the Edge: An Anthology of Contemporary Hebrew Poetry, published in 2008 by SUNY Press

David Avidan c ropped

DANCE MUSIC

We reflected at length. Light flooded
the forehead’s rectangle, the eyes, the eyebrows. We asked
the same questions and were answered
as always. Winter arrived
and saddened us. From others
we asked nothing and from ourselves
we asked only little. But we grasped
that daylight is not hostile and that night
is only a passing nuisance. Rain came
and silenced the tune. We turned on the radio,
dimmed the lights, and quietly dove
into dark and shadowy depths. The hairy creature
awoke in us. Man is the sole
goal of all creation. And so
woman found us. We were
hard and festive until the end of night.
Why did light flood the eyes, eyebrows,
the forehead’s rectangle, the back, the body. The rain
why did it come, and how would you explain
that we passed underneath and did not sink.

LAST-LAST

They’ve always waited for just this moment. Since then
everything was folded, everything approved. Only
something was less solid, bolder,
born without a silencer, and therefore it grated.
As if oil were spent off the earth, as if
the thin earth consumed it all.
And later with a soft hum they led
what was left into the darkness.

David Avidan (1934-1995), poet, translator, painter, filmmaker, playwright and publisher, was born in Tel Aviv, where he lived and worked. A major force in contemporary Hebrew poetry and a leading innovator and artist, he published nineteen books of poetry, as well as plays and books for young adults. His work has been translated into twenty languages, and collections of his poems have been published in Arabic, English, French and Russian. He wrote and directed four short films (his film Sex was shown at the Cannes International Film Festival in 1971) and the full-length Message from the Future (1981). His artwork was exhibited at the Israel Museum, as well as in galleries in Tel Aviv, New York and Paris. A prolific and enthusiastic translator, he translated, among others, plays by Chekhov, Brecht and Friedrich Schiller, as well as Hamlet, and the play adaptation of Allen Ginsberg’s Kaddish. Among his awards are the Abraham Woursell Award from the University of Vienna, the Bialik Award and the Prime Minister Award.

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Hedva Harechavi: Four poems translated by Linda Stern Zisquit
From Migo: Poems 2008-2016, published in Hebrew in 2017 by Hakibbutz Hameuchad

Hedva Harechavi

TILL I HEAR YOU AGAIN

‘Too much reality, she said. Too much reality, so she said’
(Elisha Harechavi)

Reality after reality forces herself into a broken vessel
and goes away.
About this I want us to talk: magic tricks.
Whims.
A sharp eye.
Intuition.
Imagination.
Mortal danger.
About this I want us to talk. In the dead of night. Here. Now.
Minute after minute: things that you crave –
sweets, French cigarettes, pranks, fabrications,
temporary playboys who want it all,
and when there’s music they are free
to doll themselves up, to run, sing, dance, fly,
fly, I mean
really to fly.
About this I want us to talk: at the moment that the reality, dressed in wild flowers,
dances in the lit display window, hallucinating, cheering, clapping hands, making too
much noise, bursting into tears, calming down, gathering herself together, repeating
repeating repeating,
and all her longing
to be a button,
a buttonhole,
embroidery
—it doesn’t matter what—
on your clothes.
About this I want us to talk: the beauty.
The gentleness.
The thinness.
The drunkenness.
The thirst.
The lack.
Jazz music comes close to your thirsty body
thirsty, hungry, gaunt, hidden.
Suddenly she sobs.
About this I want us to talk: things you listen to,
things you observe, things you turn round and round,
you play,
get excited,
joke,
smile,
burst out laughing,
desire with all your might,
go overboard.
And then, how to describe it,
—like what—
everything has become abstract,
and all the anarchy, dressed in holiday clothes, is placed next to me, by my side,
placed above, on top,
or there,
between the bushes, no
no no no, in fact,
there, sitting there,
she smiles smiles smiles,
doesn’t stop
smiling.
About this I want us to talk. Always. All the time.
Deceits and a ray of sunlight clearing its way.
Deceits and signs of injured earth jumping in the dark.
Deceits and manifestations of eternalness.
Deceits and wholeness looking from the side
at the mother and child

and this wholeness,
all this wholeness,
like this wholeness,
and someone next to me mumbles to herself,
mumbles to the clods of earth,
mumbles nothing, almost,
just wastes your time
or-what

Oh Migo,
wanderer such as you are,
the boy who is more than everything, if only you knew
how much I love you.
How much I am not lacking a thing.
How much my mind is at ease:
you are breathtaking.
You are illuminated.
Inconceivable.
One-time.
A whole life is still before you.
And at the same time to hear your voice,
to listen to your breaths,
to observe the spectacular speed of your smiles,
to go down into the ocean of your thoughts
your imagination your urges, or even,
just
your hallucinations

And the spirit of God licks the dust of the road on the soles of your feet,
underneath the soles of your feet,
and festive birds that gathered around you.
About this I want us to talk: why
move the forces of nature.
Why all of a sudden.
Why in haste

Oh Migo,
“The heavens can descend to here” I ponder
and my hand caresses the earth-noise of your eyes,
your eyes with the noise of earth,
with everything that distracts you.
And then, how to describe, what

What. What.
Actually, what.
I want to know what. What.
What. What. What could possibly be.
What. I want to know what.
What. In fact what.
What. What. What.
What could possibly be

Nothing can be anymore
till I hear you again call me
“mother”

HIS FACE

My son is often silent
looking without eyes at the sky
that will never again pass over
his face

ASSOCIATIONS FOR EXAMPLE

Home – jungle – watchdog – respite – a quiet
window – a door spread out on the floor – fog under
the threshold – night – city – night and city – “a woman
weaves a dream of a shedog in the fall” / a watercolor –
and the dream of a shedog just like a dream of a shedog – bread –
water – niche – flowery ceramic saucer – blue
towel – her territory – her silver pendant –
the profane – the holy – the light – yellow shadows of
the sun – the reception room – the visitors room – the pink bowl
of fruit – dice with your back on the sofa – blisters and rubber bands
and dimples – an isolation room full of shedog – one shedog turns into
a few – the small window cleaner continues in conversation – the hidden

XXXXX

confusion – the rhythm – the disgust – the nausea – the lust –
what sets the lust in motion – what sets in motion the small
window cleaner – the expanse of senses is illuminated – is this a line? –
is this a point? – between me and time a distance of a meter hangs around? –
“our time has finished, my daughter” – “wait a second” – “another second” – “only
a second” – “a second and that’s all” – a barefoot bird, completely naked, flies
around in a circle for a week already – the sigh of the wings – a head with
thousands of pupils in the eyes – the planet earth has turned into a park –
a scene of a strong wind hurries in the park – a scene of a yellow
old woman with white flowers wandering around in the park – shakes out
her fan of feathers – dances between the tiny bushes –
dances by herself – dying for a few people – dances with

XXXX

fire with water with sand – with everything that comes – tears
in eyes – revulsion – and she who dances now with the white
sheet – dances between the walls of the room – clapping
of hands – the blast of the horns – the twilight – the loneliness
that she tried – the rustling of the surrounding houses – the rejoicing
of the small trees – the wall of the small garden – the sun shines above
the wall of the small garden – the background of the sunrise – the other side
of the background – the reality turns into a drop – a drop turns into black
water – the black water flows backwards – and wonderful.
Wonderful. Good, that’s what was wonderful – the fire on the floor –
the time that burned – the smell of the time that burned – the smell of winter –
the smell of the walls of the room – the smell of the soot – the smell of the colors

XXXX

of the soot – the smell of the pale blue – a dim wall turns into a pile of
pale blue – dances in the middle of the pale blue – night – there is no poetry without
night – there is no poetry without the night beast – looking forward
forward – also backward – also to the sides – to infinite
directions – made to stand on the lines – waiting – like this, there –
Master of the Universe – who is similar – yes, it is similar – life
death life death living life and the like – yes, it is similar –
the void that opens up – the split – the blood that does not stop flowing –
the small clods – the wind – the clouds – the lava –
the haze – the ashes – the sweat – the railing – the old dogs
in back of those storerooms – “the sky can come down to

XXXXX

here” I ponder – and wonderful. Wonderful. Yes, it is wonderful –
this is what was wonderful – the time that paled – the time that blackened –
the time that was torn to pieces – the time that broke down into elements – the time
that crumbled – the time that rotted – the time that was finished – finished –
finished. Finished. Finished. Finished – it was finished – those deceits

the night beast appears – the eternity – life that will stand forever –
and this now that the sky bows lightly to her – salutes her –
the night beast – the night beast – the night beast – the night beast

Let me cry next to you

MIGO

Bring back my Migo to me
bring back my holy of holies to me
bring back my Urim and Thummim to me
bring back my beautiful child of eternity to me
my Indian angel
my master of the universe
bring back my nightfall to me
my night after night
my crawl walk run dance sing all night
bring back my breath to me
my head my heart my blood my bones
my hunger and thirst
my light and my victories
my home
the warmth in my room

Bring back to me the thing I never talked about
that very moment
such a moment
there
like there
at three in the morning
on the edge of a giant pool
and there was no Providence on the earth
and there was no Providence in the heavens

and the leviathan asked “what, is it true that all the oceans have no walls?”

Hedva Harechavi, poet and artist, was born in 1941 in Kibbutz Degania Bet and has lived most of her life in Jerusalem. She is a graduate of the Bezalel Academy of Arts in Jerusalem. Her artwork was exhibited widely both in Israel and abroad. The poems in her first book, Because He Is A King (1974), were selected and prepared for publication by the eminent Hebrew poet Leah Goldberg, and the book received the Rachel Newman Poetry Prize that same year. Her poems have since been translated into many languages, including English, Arabic, Russian and German, and have appeared in numerous publications and anthologies. She won the Prime Minister Award for Poetry in 1982 and again in 1993, the Yehuda Amichai Prize for Poetry in 2010, The Ramat Gan Prize in 2011, The Akum Prize for Poetry in 2013, The Bialik Prize for Hebrew Literature in 2014 and The Leah Goldberg Award in 2020. She is considered to be one of the great Israeli female poets.

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The Translators

Adriana X. Jacobs is a poet and scholar based in Oxford, England, and Brooklyn, NY. Her translations of Hebrew poetry have appeared in various print and online journals, including Metamorphoses, Truck, Poetry International, World Literature Today and Seedings. She is a recipient of the 2015 PEN/Heim Translation Grant for her translation of Vaan Nguyen’s The Truffle Eye (2021, Zephyr Press).

Liat Simon was born in Tel Aviv in 1976. She is a poet, a journalist and an editor, and is a seasoned content manager, specializing in arts and culture. She studied English Literature and Philosophy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Film at Beit Berl College – Faculty of Arts (Hamidrasha). Her poems, written in Hebrew, were featured in various Israeli newspapers and literary magazines. Her first poetry book, Three Times Around the Sun, will be published by Pardes Publishing and has received The Yehoshua Rabinovich Foundation for the Arts grant.

Marcela Sulak’s translations from the Czech include Karel Hynek Macha’s May and K. J. Erben’s A Bouquet of Czech Folktales; from the Hebrew, Twenty Girls to Envy Me. The Selected Poems of Orit Gidali, nominated for the 2017 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation; and from the French, Mutombo Nkulu-N’Sengha’s Bela-Wenda. Voices from the Heart of Africa. She has published four collections of poetry, most recently City of Skypapers (a 2021 National Jewish Book Award Finalist), as well as the lyric memoir, Mouth Full of Seeds. She has co-edited the 2015 Rose Metal Press title, Family Resemblance. An Anthology and Exploration of 8 Hybrid Literary Genres. Recipient of a 2019 National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellowship, she directs the Shaindy Rudoff Graduate Program in Creative Writing at Bar-Ilan University.

Joanna Chen has translated four full-length books, Less Like a Dove by Agi Mishol (Shearsman, 2017), Frayed Light by Yonatan Berg (Wesleyan Poetry Series, 2019; a finalist in the Jewish National Book Awards), My Wild Garden by Meir Shalev (Penguin/Random House, 2020) and but first I call your name by Hadassa Tal (Shearsman, 2021). She contributes to The Los Angeles Review of Books and teaches literary translation at The Helicon School of Poetry in Tel Aviv.

Jane Medved is the author of Deep Calls to Deep (winner of the Many Voices Project; New Rivers Press) and the chapbook Olam, Shana, Nefesh (Finishing Line Press). Recent essays and poems of hers have appeared in Ruminate, The North American Review, The Cider Press Review, The Normal School and The Seneca Review. She is the winner of the 2021 RHINO Translation Prize and the recipient of an honorable mention from the 2021 Janet B. McCabe Poetry Prize. Her translations of Hebrew poetry can be seen in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Cajibi and Copper Nickel. She is the poetry editor of the Ilanot Review, and a visiting lecturer in the Graduate Program in Creative Writing at Bar-Ilan University, Tel Aviv.

Becka Mara McKay is a poet and translator. She directs the Creative Writing MFA at Florida Atlantic University, where she serves as faculty advisor to Swamp Ape Review. Her work has recently appeared in Beloit Poetry Journal, Muzzle, Ovenbird and Poetry Northwest, and her newest book of poems is The Little Book of No Consolation (Barrow Street Press, 2021).

Tsipi Keller was born in Prague, raised in Tel Aviv, studied in Paris, and has been living in the U.S. since 1974. Novelist and translator and the author of sixteen books, she is the recipient of several literary awards, including National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellowships, New York Foundation for the Arts Fiction grants, and an Armand G. Erpf Translation Award from Columbia University. Her translations of Hebrew literature have appeared in literary journals and anthologies in the U.S. and Europe, as well as in The Posen Library of Jewish Culture and Civilization (Yale University Press, 2012).

Linda Stern Zisquit has published five full-length collections of poetry, most recently Return from Elsewhere (2014) and Havoc: New & Selected Poems (2013). A chapbook, From the Notebooks of Korah’s Daughter, was published in the UK (New Walk Editions, 2019). Her translations from Hebrew poetry include Wild Light: Selected Poems of Yona Wallach (1997), Let the Words: Selected Poems of Yona Wallach (2006) and These Mountains: Selected Poems of Rivka Miriam (2009). Born in Buffalo, NY, she has lived in Israel since 1978, where she is the founder and director of Artspace Gallery. She is Associate Professor of Poetry (emerita) at Bar-Ilan University and for many years she was Poetry Coordinator for the Shaindy Rudoff Graduate Program in Creative Writing there.

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