Poetry International Poetry International

Tal Nitzán

Tal Nitzán

Tal Nitzán

(Israel, 0)
Tal Nitzán is an award-winning poet, editor and a major Israeli translator of Hispanic literature. Born in Jaffa, Israel, of Argentine descent, she has lived in Buenos Aires, Bogota and New York, and now lives in Tel Aviv. Nitzán has translated over 70 books into Hebrew, mainly from Spanish, including two anthologies of Latin American poetry, and adapted a Hebrew version of Don Quixote for young people (2006). Her translations include poetry works by Cervantes, Machado, García Lorca, Neruda, Paz, Borges, Vallejo, Pizarnik and Pavese, and prose by García Márquez, Vargas Llosa, Cortázar, Onetti, Delibes, Toni Morrison, Ian McEwan, Angela Carter, John Steinbeck and many others. She has won numerous awards for this work, among them the Ministry of Culture’s Translation Prize (1995, 2005) and, in 2004, an honorary medal from Chile’s president, for her translation of Pablo Neruda’s poetry.
An ardent peace activist, Nitzán has organised several political-poetic events, and has edited the anthology With an Iron Pen: Hebrew Protest Poetry 1984–2004 (2005), a collection of 99 Hebrew poems written over the last 20 years to protest against the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories; an English version co-edited with Rachel Tzvia Back was published by the SUNY Albany Press in the USA in 2009. Nitzán is editor of the series Latino, for translations from Hispanic literature, the series Local, for contemporary Hebrew prose, and the literary review Lights, for new writing.

Her poems have been translated into Spanish, Arabic, Japanese, Portuguese, Italian, Latvian, Romanian, Turkish and other languages, have been published in English in magazines such as Bridges, Habitus and Modern Poetry in Translation, and in online magazines such as Zeek, Poetry Life and Times and others, and have appeared in anthologies in German (Studien Verlag, Skarabaeus) and French (Caracters editions; Revue Europe). A selection of her work in Lithuanian (Five Windows to the Garden) appeared in 2009, and an anthology in Italian, Inner Architecture, was published in 2010. Bibliography 

Lishkoakh rishona (The First to Forget), Am Oved, Tel Aviv, 2009
Café hashemesh hakahola (Café Soleil Bleu), Rananna, Even Hoshen, 2007
Erev regeel (An Ordinary Evening), Am Oved, Tel Aviv, 2006
Doméstica, Am Oved, Tel Aviv, 2002

Poetry translations (from Spanish to Hebrew)

El oro de no tener nada (anthology of Latin-American poetry of the 20th century), 1992
Cervantes, Don Quijote, (poetry), 1994
Octavio Paz, El fuego de cada día, (anthology), 1998
César Vallejo, La rueda del hambriento,  (anthology), 1999
La campana furiosa (anthology of Latin-American poetry of the 20th century), 2000
Antonio Machado, Palabra en el tiempo,  (anthology), 2001
Pablo Neruda, Poemas,  (anthology) 2002
José Hierro, Cuaderno de Nueva York,  2002
Alejandra Pizarnik, En esta noche, en este mundo,  (anthology), 2005
César Vallejo, Trilce, 2006
Pablo Neruda, Veinte poemas de amor y una canción desesperada, 2009
César Vallejo, Los nueve monstruos, (anthology) 2010

Prose translations (from Spanish to Hebrew)

Gabriel García Márquez, Crónica de una muerte anunciada, 1988; Vivir para contarla, 2003; Memorias de mis putas tristes, 2005
Juan Carlos Onetti, La cara de la desgracia (stories), 1988; El astillero, 2003
Javier Tomeo, Amado monstruo; El castillo de la carta cifrada, 1989
Mario Vargas Llosa, El hablador, 1990; Elogio de la madrastra, 1992; Travesuras de la niña mala, 2007
Cristina Peri Rossi, Los extraños objetos voladores (stories), 1992
Osvaldo Soriano, Una sombra tan pronto serás, 1995
Alberto Gerchunoff, Los gauchos judíos, 1997
Antonio Muñoz Molina, El invierno en Lisboa, 1997; Plenilunio, 1998; Beatus Ille, 2002
Lazarillo de Tormes, 1998
Horacio Quiroga, A la deriva, 2001
Ernesto Sábato, El túnel, 2003
Carlos Fuentes, Constancia, 2005
Roberto Bolaño, Nocturno de Chile, 2006; Estrella distante, 2008

Latino Series (Hakibbutz Hameuchad/Hasifria hahadasha)

Miguel Delibes, Los santos inocentes, 2003 
Augusto Monterroso, Sinfonía concluida, 2003
Eduardo Mendoza, El misterio de la cripta embrujada, 2005; El laberinto de las aceituna, 2007
Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quijote (version for young readers), 2006
Julio Cortázar, El otro cielo (selected stories), 2006
Laura Restrepo, Delirio, 2008
Liliana Heker, La fiesta ajena, 2008

Prose translations (from English to Hebrew, a partial listing)

Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye, 1996
Angela Carter, The Bloody Chamber, 1997
Ian McEwan, Black Dogs, 1998; Amsterdam, 2000
Edith Wharton, Ethan Frome, 1998
Aleksandar Hemon, The Lazarus Project, 2010
John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men, 2011


The Harry Hershon Literature prize of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1985
The Rosario Castellanos prize, 1985
Translator's Prize from the Ministry of Culture, 1995 and 2005
Women writers’ prize, 1998
Prize for beginning poets by the Ministry of Culture, 2001
Prize for a poetry book debut – Doméstica – by the ministry of culture, 2002
Honorary medal from the president of Chile, Ricardo Lagos Escobar, for the translation of Pablo Neruda’s poetry, at the occasion of the poet’s centenary, 2004
ACUM (Artists’ and writers’ rights society) prize for poetry submitted anonymously, 2007
Publisher's Association annual poetry award for Erev Regeel [An Ordinary Evening], 2008 
The Prime Minister’s Prize for Writers, 2009


Tal Nitzán on Lyrikline
“A poet must know how to kick”: An interview with Tal Nitzán
Poems in English, French and German in Transcript
Poems in Lithuanian
Poems in Spanish
‘Mountain High’ with music on YouTube (Hebrew with English subtitles)
More video clips in Hebrew on YouTube:
Tal Nitzán on YouTube 2
Tal Nitzán on YouTube 3

Sponsored by  POETRY PLACE
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Lira fonds
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère