Poetry International Poetry International

Editors & translators (Israel)

October 25, 2006
2019: An independent committee advises editor Lisa Katz: Tamar Hess (Hebrew University), Adriana X Jacobs (Oxford University), Dory Manor (founding editor of Ho!/Oh? magazine), Dror Burstein (Hebrew University), Gilad Meiri (Poetry Place), Lilach Weber.

2009-2018: Gilad Meiri/Poetry Place & Lisa Katz
The Hebrew word for “address” is ketovet and the name of the group of poets who founded the Poetry Place project in Jerusalem in 2002. Ketovet’s members, poets Shai Dotan, Gilad Meiri, Lyor Shternberg, Dorit Weisman and Ariel Zinder served as a cooperative national editor for the Israeli pages of PIW until 2012, with Dorit Weisman playing a major role and working with English editor Lisa Katz until mid-2013; Katz edited these pages with Gilad Meiri, who directs Poetry Place, till the end of 2019.

Poetry Place is a non-profit literary project first located in a neighborhood on the edge of Jerusalem’s open-air market, Mahane Yehuda, and then in the German Colony. It is currently located in a dedicated historic building in the center of Jerusalem and offers courses in creative writing and translation in two-year programs at the The College of Literary Arts, a post-secondary, non-degree granting institution. Poetry Place is a venue for poetry readings by veteran and new Israeli poets and translators, and discussions about poetry, most often punctuated by musical performances, as well as world poets; in 2008, Adam Zagajewski, Joan Margarit and Tusiata Avia were the guests of Poetry Place. Also in 2008, Poetry Place inaugurated its One Square Meter Jerusalem Poetry Festival. From 2011-2012, Poetry Place's festivals took place in the Botanical Gardens in Jerusalem, and since 2013, they are conducted in the city's bookshops and cafes.
Poetry Place home website: poetryplace.org
“Condensing Jerusalem”: A report on the 2008 Poetry Place Jerusalem Poetry Festival from the Haaretz newspaper
Israeli poets read at Poetry Place in Hebrew
Video of the 1st One Square Meter Jerusalem Poetry Festival in 2008 with English subtitles

English-language editor Lisa Katz's translations of Admiel Kosman (Something That is Yours) and Miri Ben SImhon (The Absolute Reader) are forthcoming in 2020. Her prior translations include Late Beauty: a bilingual selection of the poetry of Tuvia Ruebner, (with S. Bram) Zephyr Press (2017), a Jewish National Book Award finalist;  Suddenly the Sight of War: nationalism and violence in Hebrew poetry of the 1940s by Hannan Hever,Stanford (2016); Approaching You in English: a bilingual selection of the poetry of Admiel Kosman  (with S. Naim-Naor) Zephyr (2011); Look There: New and Selected Poems of Agi Mishol  Graywolf  (2006).  Her translations have appeared recently in Poetry, MPT, Guernica, Consequence, World Literature in Translation and The New York Times. She is the author of a chapbook, Are You With Me, Finishing Line (2016) and Reconstruction, a volume of her poetry in Hebrew translation, Am Oved (2008); also in 2008, she was awarded the Mississippi Review Poetry Prize and a Ledig House International Writers Residency.  Katz taught literary translation at Hebrew University for a decade and most recently at Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Spring 2017, and where she will return to teach in Spring 2019. In Fall 2017, she served as translator-in-residence at the University of Iowa MFA in Translation program. Born in New York, she studied at the University of Michigan (BA English) and the City College of New York (MA Creative Writing), receiving a PhD (on the poetry of Sylvia Plath) from the English Department of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where she has lived since 1983. 

Article by Lisa Katz about Israeli poetry in www.tabletmag.com

Poet and translator Rami Saari, founding Israeli national editor, 2002–2006, was born in Petah Tikva (Israel) in 1963. He studied at the universities of Helsinki, Budapest and Jerusalem and received his PhD degree in Semitic languages. Saari has published six books of poetry: Behold, I Found my Home (1988), Men at the Crossroads (1991), The Route of Bold Pain (1997), The Book of Life (2001), So Much, So Much War (2002), and The Fifth Shogun (2005). In addition, he has translated more than thirty books into Hebrew, both prose and poetry, mainly from Albanian, Finnish, Greek, Hungarian and Spanish. Saari has twice won the Israel Prime Minister's literary award for poetry (1996 and 2003), and the Olschwung Foundation Award in 1998.

Translators in alphabetical order

Karen Alkalay-Gut has been translating poems from Hebrew for many years. Her twentieth book of poetry, So Far, So Good, appeared in 2004.

Rachel Tzvia Back, poet, scholar, and professor of literature, is the author of two poetry collections - Azimuth and The Buffalo Poems - as well as a critical study of the American poet Susan Howe, Led by Language.  A 1996 recipient of the Absorption Minister's Prize for Immigrant Writers, her translations of Lea Goldberg's poetry were published by Toby Press. Her most recent poetry collection is On Ruins & Return. She lives in the Galilee, in the north of Israel.

Lois Bar-Yaacov was born in Nashville, Tennessee in 1927 and died in Jerusalem in 2013.  She received her BA from Vassar, and, after moving to Israel in 1949, an MA and Ph D from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where she taught English and American poetry in the English Department until the 1990's.  She conducted poetry reading classes, at the Nofim retirement home where she lived till the end of her life.

Chana Bloch (1940-2017) is the author of five books of poems, and co-translator with Chana Kronfeld of the complete poems of Dahlia Ravikovitch. She is  also a translator of The Selected Poetry of Yehuda Amichai, the biblical Song of Songs, and The Window by Dahlia Ravikovitch, and author of a critical study of George Herbert, Spelling the Word. Bloch was awarded fellowships from the NEA and the NEH for her poetry, translations and scholarship. At her death she was Professor Emerita of English at Mills College.

Harvey Bock teaches at Hebrew College in Newton, Massachusetts. Formerly a lawyer in private practice and then General Counsel of Discover Card, he now teaches biblical, rabbinic and modern Hebrew, which have long been passionate avocational interests for him. He particularly enjoys equipping students with the language tools to give them access to classical Jewish texts. He has translated several academic books and articles.

T. Carmi (1925–1994) was born in New York and brought up in one of the few Hebrew-speaking American households. His first Hebrew poems were published while he still lived in the US. He studied at Yeshiva and Columbia Universities, and in 1946 worked with Jewish war orphans in France. He immigrated to British Mandatory Palestine in 1947 and settled in Jerusalem after fighting in the War of Independence. An editor and translator (of Shakespeare, among others), he was a regular visiting professor at the Jerusalem Hebrew Union College. In addition to publishing his own poetry, he translated and edited two volumes of Hebrew poetry, including The Penguin Book of HebrewVerse. He was awarded numerous literary prizes, including the Bialik Prize.

Stanley Chyet (1931–2002) was born in Boston and was a member of the first graduating class of Brandeis University. After ordination at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1957, he studied American Jewish history under the tutelage of Dr. Jacob Rader Marcus and received his Ph.D. from the College-Institute in 1960. He was appointed to the Cincinnati faculty that same year, moving to the Hebrew Union College Los Angeles campus in 1976. He wrote and published his own poetry while also working and publishing extensively on Israeli literature, specifically Israeli poetry and its translation into English, including, in addition to his book length volume of Chaim Gouri’s poetry, Words in My Lovesick Blood, the recent anthology No Sign of Ceasefire (translated and edited with Warren Bargad). For a a remembrance of Chyet from a Hebrew Union College publication, see American Jewish Archives Journal.

Peter Cole has published several collections of poetry, as well as many volumes of translations from medieval and contemporary Hebrew and Arabic. He has received numerous awards for his work, including a MacArthur 'genius' grant, a TLS Translation Prize for Selected Poems of Shmuel HaNagid and the MLA Translation Prize for Selected Poems of Solomon Ibn Gabirol (both Princeton University Press), as well as fellowships from the NEH, the NEA, and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. Winner of the 2004 PEN-America Translation Award, for J’Accuse, by Aharon Shabtai (New Directions), he divides his time between Jerusalem, where he co-edits Ibis Editions, and New Haven, where he teaches at Yale.

Vivian Eden was born in the United States and has lived in Israel on and off since 1961. At the University of Iowa, where she received her Ph.D. in comparative literature with a specialty in translation, she was a member of the staff of the International Writing Program. Since its inception, she has been a member of the staff of the Helicon Poetry School. Her poems and translations have been published and performed in Israel, England, the United States and elsewhere. Among her prose translations is the novel Arabesques by Anton Shammas. She is currently on the staff of The International Herald Tribune – Haaretz English Edition, where she edits a column of poetry in translation, ‘Lines’.

Maayan Eitan was born in Jerusalem and grew up in the Negev. She studied comparative literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Her short stories and translations have been published in different journals and platforms in Israel and America.

Poet and translator Marcia Falk is the author of The Book of Blessings, a bilingual re-creation of Jewish prayer in poetic forms, written from a nonhierarchical, gender-inclusive perspective. Her translations include The Song of Songs: Love Lyrics from the Bible (first published in 1977 and issued in a new edition in 2004) and With Teeth in the Earth: Selected Poems of Malka Heifetz Tussman (translations from the Yiddish). While on a Fulbright grant in Jerusalem in 1974, she developed a friendship with the late poet Zelda, and in 2004 she published a full-length volume of translations of Zelda’s poetry, with an introduction and notes: The Spectacular Difference: Selected Poems of Zelda. She also has two books of her own poetry: This Year in Jerusalem and It Is July in Virginia. A former professor of literature and creative writing at SUNY Binghamton, the Claremont Colleges, and Hebrew Union College, where she held the Priesand Chair in Jewish Women’s Studies, she now lives in Berkeley, CA. She travels widely to lecture on Jewish feminism, women’s literature, and other topics. She is also a painter, and her artwork may be viewed on her website.

Jennie Feldman’s first collection, The Lost Notebook (Anvil 2005) was shortlisted for the Glen Dimplex Poetry Award. Her translations of the French poet Jacques Réda, Treading Lightly: Selected Poems 1961-1975, were also published by Anvil in 2005. She is co-translator and editor, with Stephen Romer, of Into the Deep Street: Seven Modern French Poets (1938–2008), a bilingual anthology published by Anvil in 2009. She also translates contemporary Hebrew poetry and teaches Creative Writing at Bar Ilan University. She lives in Jerusalem. Born in South Africa, she grew up in London and graduated from Oxford. 

R. Aubrey L. Glazer, PhD (University of Toronto), is an independent scholar specialising in the field of Hebrew Hermeneutics. His scholarly work appears in Hebrew Studies, and in Kabbalah: Journal for the Study of Jewish Mystical Texts. A monograph is forthcoming on Intuitive Kabbalah that explores the correlation of several Hebrew poets with contemporary mysticisms. Glazer is the author of “Rebirthing Redemption: Hermeneutics of gilgul from Beit Lehem Yehuda into Pedaya’s Poetry”, Kabbalah 11 (2004), 49–83.

Lewis Glinert is a professor of Hebrew Studies and Linguistics at Dartmouth College, USA. A former Doncaster Scholar of German at Magdalen College, Oxford, he has held appointments at Haifa University and Bar Ilan University in Israel, the University of Chicago, and at London University's School of Oriental & African Studies. His books deal with the linguistics and sociology of Hebrew and Yiddish. Glinert's Tongue of Tongues, a documentary marking 100 years since the rebirth of spoken Hebrew, was a BBC 1992 nomination for a SONY award. Another of his BBC documentaries is Golem! The Making of a Modern Myth.

Barbara Goldberg is the author of five books of poetry, most recently, Marvelous Pursuits, winner of the Violet Reed Haas Award (Snake Nation Press, 1995). The Fire Stays in Red contains her translations of the Iraqi-born Israeli poet Ronny Someck (Wisconsin University Press, Spring 2002). The recipient of two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and numerous grants from the Maryland State Arts Council, her work has appeared in the American Poetry Review, Gettysburg Review, Paris Review, Poetry, and elsewhere. She is the senior speechwriter of a large, nonprofit organization in Washington, DC.

Lauren Gordon was born in Manchester, England, and has lived in Israel since 2002. She was awarded an MA in English Literature with a thesis on the poetry of Marianne Moore. Lauren currently works as a poetry editor for Koren Publishers, and at Ulpan La-Inyan, a private Hebrew language-learning school, in Jerusalem. She is the mother of three children.

Adriana X. Jacobs is a scholar and translator of Hebrew and Israeli literature, and a professor of Hebrew literature at Oxford.Her book, Strange Cocktail: Translation and the Making of Modern Hebrew Poetry (University of Michigan Press, 2018)proposes a translation-centered reading of modern Hebrew poetry and its development. In addition to her scholarly work, her poetry and translations have appeared in print and online in Drunken Boat, Peter Parasol, Zeek, Metamorphoses and Truck.  She formerly lived in New York City.

Aloma Halter, a poet, translator and editor, came to Israel from London in 1980. She was Assistant Editor at the Ariel review for many years and wrote for the Jerusalem Post. Her translation of Aharon Appelfeld's Story of a Life (Random House) appeared in October 2004. She is currently Managing Editor at the Toby Press, and lives in Jerusalem.

Yahya Hijazi works at the Palestinian Counseling Center in Beit Hanina and teaches philosophy of education and co-existence at the David Yellin College.

Henry Israeli is the author of New Messiahs (Four Way Books, 2002). His poetry and translations have appeared in many journals including Grand Street, The Iowa Review, and Verse. He is the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Canada Council.

Born in Seattle, poet and translator Shirley Kaufman lived in San Francisco for twenty-seven years until she made her home in Jerusalem in 1973; she died in San Francisco in 2016. Her 11th book of poetry, Ezekiel's Wheels, was published in 2009; 10th book of poetry, Threshold, also published by Copper Canyon Press (Washington State) in May 2003; her final volume of translations, The Flower of Anarchy: Selected Poems of Meir Wieseltier, was published by the University of California Press, Berkeley in the fall of 2003. Kaufman served as co-editor of The Defiant Muse, a bilingual collection of feminist Hebrew poetry from the Bible to the present, with Galit Hasan-Rokem and Tamar Hess; the book’s British edition, Loki Books (London) was awarded the UK Poetry Society’s Recommended Translation Selection in Spring, 2000. She is the recipient of numerous honors, including a Creative Writing Fellowship Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (1979) and a Translation Grant from the NEA in 2003 (for the Wieseltier book); a Rockefeller Foundation residency at Bellagio (1988); the Shelley Memorial Award for lifetime achievement from the Poetry Society of America (1991); and inclusion in a number of prize-winning anthologies, such as The Pushcart Prize and The Best American Poetry: 2001 (ed. Robert Haas, New York, Scribner).

Tsipi Keller is a writer and translator living in NYC, recipient of a NEA Translation Award, among others. Two of her novels have appeared in Hebrew, and Jackpot was published in English in 2004 by Spuyten Duyvil.

Chana Kronfeld is Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature at the University of California at Berkeley. Her scholarly work focuses on the role of ideology in literary history. Her book, On the Margins of Modernism, received the MLA Scaglione Prize. She has just completed a critical study of Yehuda Amichai’s poetry, The Full Severity of Compassion. Her essay on Dahlia Ravikovitch’s political poetry is included in Reading Hebrew Literature (University of New England Press, 2002).

Kronfeld and Chana Bloch have been awarded the PEN Translation Prize, an NEA Fellowship, and a Marie Syrkin Fellowship for their translation of Yehuda Amichai’s Open Closed Open (Harcourt 2000). They are now collaborating on a translation of the selected poems of Dahlia Ravikovitch.

Gabriel Levin is the author of two volumes of poetry, most recently Ostraca, and has translated widely from contemporary Hebrew. His translations of Yehuda Halevi, Poems from the Diwan, were published last year in the UK.

Becka Mara McKay earned an MFA in creative writing from the University of Washington and an MFA in literary translation from the University of Iowa, where she also received a PhD in comparative literature. Her first book of poems, A Meteorologist in the Promised Land, was published by Shearsman Books in 2010. She has published three translations of fiction from the Hebrew: Suzan Adams' Laundry (Autumn Hill Books, 2008),and by Alex Epstein, Blue Has No South (Clockroot, 2010), and Lunar Savings Time (Clockroot, 2011).  She has received awards and grants from the Seattle Arts Commission and the American Literary Translators Association, and a Witter Byner Poetry Translation Residency. In 2006 she was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her poems and translations have appeared in American Letters & Commentary, ACM, Third Coast, The Iowa Review, Hotel Amerika, Rhino, Natural Bridge, Rattapallax , and elsewhere.

Rona May-Ron is the author of a PhD dissertation that examines the recurring Cinderella motif in the works of Margaret Atwood. Rona worked as an EFL teacher at the Center for Pre-Academic Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem for 20 years and takes great pride and joy in raising two wonderful daughters.

Stephen Mitchell (1943) was educated at Amherst College, the University of Paris, and Yale University. He is widely known for his translations and adaptations of ancient and modern classics of poetry and wisdom. Languages that Mitchell has translated from include German, Hebrew, Greek, Latin, French, Spanish, Italian, and Danish. He has also adapted classics from languages he doesn't know, including Chinese (Tao Te Ching, The Second Book of the Tao), Sanskrit (Bhagavad Gita), and Akkadian or ancient Babylonian (Gilgamesh). He has written a book of poems, two books of fiction, and the nonfiction book The Gospel According to Jesus, and co-wrote two books with Byron Katie, Loving What Is and A Thousand Names for Joy.

Yael Ofir was born in 1965. She holds a degree in law and Israel studies and has been practicing yoga intensively for a dozen years, as a way of life.

Harold Schimmel was born and raised in the United States and has lived in Jerusalem since 1964. His previous books of translations into English include Songs of Jerusalem and Myself by Yehuda Amichai and The Syrian-African Rift by Avoth Yeshurun. He is the author of six collections of poetry in Hebrew. Ibis Editions has published two volumes of his work in English translation: From Island to Island and Qasida.

Anat Schultz is an editor and translator living in Jerusalem. She is the editor of a new series of Hebrew translations of classics, to be published by Carmel Publishing House beginning in 2005. Anat has published a Hebrew translation of British author Warwick Collins’ novella Gents (Am Oved, 1999). She is currently studying for an MA degree in Comparative Literature at the Hebrew University.

Adam Seelig's translations of Israeli poets Yehuda Amichai and Dan Pagis have appeared in Poetry Magazine, World Literature Today, and Two Lines: A Journal of Translation. Seelig is a poet, playwright, stage director, and the founder of One Little Goat Theatre Company in Toronto, with which he has premiered works by Yehuda Amichai, Thomas Bernhard, Claude Gauvreau, Jon Fosse, Luigi Pirandello and himself (www.onelittlegoat.org). He is the author of Every Day in the Morning (slow) (New Star Books, shortlisted for Canada's 2011 ReLit Award in Poetry) and Talking Masks: Oedipussy (BookThug 2009).

Irit Sela, a translator, editor and producer, holds a BA & a BFA in theatre directing from Tel Aviv University. She is one of the founding co-directors of the Helicon Society for the Advancement of Poetry in Israel and an instructor in the performance of poetry in the Helicon workshop for poetry writers in Hebrew and in Arabic.

Ohad Stadler, a scriptwriter, is a graduate of the Sam Spiegel Film and Television School. He holds a B.A in English Literature from the Hebrew University, and is currently studying towards his master's degree in scriptwriting from TAU. His translations of Shai Dotan's poetry have appeared in the Prairie Schooner, the Kenyon Review online edition, the Virginia Quarterly Review and Poetry Daily. He is currently at work on a script for a feature film.

Rachel Yakobovitch was born in Kfar Saba, Israel, and holds a B.A. in Social Work from Hebrew University. She began to translate in 2002, primarily subtitles for movies, documentaries and a variety of tv programs, and she has also translated a number of professional social work articles, working from English to Hebrew. Her translations of Dorit Weisman's poetry are her only translations in the other direction, from Hebrew to English.

Maia Yerushalmi, born in Argentina in 1976, received her BA in the humanities. She is a graduate of the Writing, Editing and Translation track of Alma College in Tel Aviv, and of the 2005 Helicon writing workshops; she works as a writer and translator.

Linda Stern Zisquit is the author of two poetry collections, Ritual Bath (Broken Moon Press, Seattle, 1993) and Unopened Letters (Sheep Meadow 1996), and several translations from Hebrew poetry including Wild Light: Selected Poems of Yona Wallach for which she received an NEA Translation Grant and was short-listed for a PEN Translation Award. A new collection of poems, The Face in the Window appeared in Spring 2004, and an expanded edition of Wallach's poetry in translation is forthcoming from Sheep Meadow. She lives in Israel, teaches in the Bar Ilan MA Program in Creative Writing, and runs an art gallery.

Amalia Ziv (Ph.D) is a lecturer in the Department of Literature and the Program for Women and Gender Studies, Tel Aviv University. She is co-editor of Beyond Sexuality: Selected Papers in Lesbian & Gay Studies and Queer Theory (Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 2003). She has published several articles in Hebrew on queer theory and queer culture, pornographic literature, and the feminist sex wars. Among her publications: “Toward a History of Bars in Israel”, in Sappho in the Holy Land: Lesbian Existence and Dilemmas in Contemporary Israel, eds. Chava Frankfurt-Nachmias and Erella Shadmi (SUNY Press, NY, 2004).
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