All poetry and translation in alphabetical order.

Poets from Europe:

Paul Celan

Poets from Ireland:

Nessa O'Mahony

Poets from Israel:

Natan Alterman

Yehuda Amichai

Miriam Baruch Chalfi

Yocheved Bat-Miriam

Mordechai Beck

Haim Nachman Bialik

Raquel Chalfi

Robert Friend

Leah Goldberg

Hiyam Lenski

Dalia Ravikovitch

Yaffa Zins

Poets from South America:

Jorge Carrera Andrade

Poets from the United States:

Steven Ford Brown

Maya Cantu

Charles Fishman

Heather McHugh

Carol Moldaw

Nikolai Popov

David Romtvedt

Barry Spacks

Karen Swenson

Sandra Wheeler

Kirby Wright

More poets and translations in our Spring Issue

Poets - Summer 2000

Natan Alterman
(1910-70) was born in Warsaw and settled in Tel Aviv in 1925. He studied agronomy in Nancy, but eventually took up a journalistic post. Markedly influenced by Russian and French symbolism, Alterman rapidly established himself as the leading poet and polemicist of the forties and fifties. He wrote descriptive, symbolist lyrics using a wide range of traditional forms, and also published topical verse under the heading 'The Seventh Column'. The latter played a critical role in expressing and shaping public opinion in the early days of Israeli statehood. Alterman was also known for his outstanding translations of Shakespeare, Racine, and Moliere.
Yehuda Amichai
The gentle and powerful poetry of Yehuda Amichai is known to a wide range of readers, and loved with unmatched intensity. One of the reasons for this emotional reaction is Amichai's simple love of life and his awareness of the profundity of the experience of daily living, intensified by the fact that this living occurs in a country charged with meaning and continuous moral choice. Poetry, he has said, is like a prayer, and indeed helps the individual to come to terms with life in a way similar to that of prayer. But Amichai's poems are not prayers—in the sense that they do not repeat formulas or accept predetermined solutions for problems. Every experience is a prayer in itself, and each poem is a unique vision of an experience in a moment of time. Whether Amichai is describing the process of carrying his ex-wife's bed down the street in Jerusalem or watching the Israelite in front of him follow Moses through the desert, the poem is a sum of the common experience and the unrepeatable understanding. Amichai moved with his family from Germany to Israel in 1936 when he was 11. His salvation from the Holocaust and his religious upbringing colors much of his approach to experience. In World War II he fought with the Jewish Brigade of the British Army, then joined the Palmach, fighting in the War of Independence on the southern front. Following the war, Amichai attended Hebrew University, studying Biblical texts and Hebrew literature, and taught in secondary schools. Amichai is a prolific writer and has published eleven volumes of poetry in Hebrew, two novels, and a book of short stories. He has been translated into 33 languages, and there are numerous books in English.
Yocheved Bat-Miriam
(1901-79) was born in Russia and attended universities in Odessa and Moscow before settling n Palestine in 1926. Like her contemporaries, Leah Goldberg and Natan Alterman, Bat-Miriam assimilated the techniques of the Russian symbolists and poets influenced by them, including Boris Pasternak. She wrote with a keen sense of place—both of her childhood home and Palestine. Although adhering to strict metrical form, her use of language is idiosyncratic and daring in its syntax, with frequent metaphorical leaps. Bat-Miriam wrote no poetry after 1948, the year of her son's death in the War of Independence.

Jorge Carrera Andrade Jorge Carrera Andrade
Appointed as the new Ecuadorian Consul General in San Francisco in 1940, Carrera Andrade quickly developed friendships on the American literary scene. His early published essays and poetry in America appeared in Books Abroad and Poetry. His first book of poetry in English, Secret Country (New York: MacMillan Publishers, 1946), drew praise from American poets John Peale Bishop, Paul Engle, Archibald MacLeish, Thomas Merton, Carl Sandburg, and William Carlos Williams. Reviews of Secret Country appeared in The Chicago Sunday Tribune, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Partisan Review, The Saturday Review of Literature, and The Yale Review . During his career as a writer Carrera Andrade published some forty-five books of poetry and forty books of prose. As he served the Ecuadorian government in a variety of important diplomatic posts, Carrera Andrade traveled and published his books in Quito, Barcelona, Caracas, Madrid, Managua, New York, Paris, and Tokyo. Carrera Andrade also translated from the French (Pierre Reverdy), and his own poetry appeared in Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Japanese, and Russian translation. Today he is considered Ecuador's most important poet and one of the most important Latin American writers of the century. However, despite his prominence as writer and political figure -due to shifting allegiances created by frequent coups and politics- he died alone and in poverty in Ecuador in 1978.
Karen Alkalay-Gut

Karen Alkalay-Gut
Karen Alkalay-Gut teaches at Tel Aviv University and chairs the Israel Association of Writers in English. Her latest book in English The Love of Clothes and Nakedness has just been published by Tel Aviv:Federation of Writers Associations. In this issue, see the feature of In My Skin and her translations of Yehuda Amichai, Miryam Baruch Chalfi (a co-translation with Raquel Chalfi), Raquel Chalfi (co-translated with the author), and Yaffa Zins.
Mordechai Beck
Mordechai Beck has published fiction in The Literary Review, Tikkun and Ariel. His reviews and essays have been widely published in newspapers and journals in the United Kingdom, the United States and Israel. He is also a visual artist, specializing in print-making. He lives in Israel.
Haim Nachman Bialik

Haim Nachman Bialik (1873-1934) was born in the Ukrainian village of Radi and settled in Tel Aviv in 1924. He began publishing in the 1890s, after moving to Odessa and coming under the influence of its Jewish literary circles, and was rapidly hailed as the leading poet of the Hebrew national revival movement. In addition to writing, prophet-like, verse of wrath in response to the Russian pogroms of 1903-6, Bialik wrote poems of great lyric intensity, infused with longing and despair. The poet's fine tonal modulations and natural cadences (adopted from Russian accentual-syllabic meter), breathing into Hebrew a 'new song', are sharply counterpointed by Bialik's lonely, brooding voice, speaking, as it were, in the wake of national and personal ruin. Though writing very little verse after 1911, Bialik remained active in the public sphere. He founded Dvir publishing house, edited and published works of the Hebrew medieval poets, published short stories and literary essays and compiled (with Y.H. Ravnitzky) an important anthology of rabbinic lore.
Steven Ford Brown Steven Ford Brown
Steven Ford Brown is employed in the European Equities Department of an international investment firm in Boston. His translations from the Spanish of Angel Gonzalez and Pere Gimferrer have appeared in The Antioch Review, Colorado Review, Christian Science Monitor, Harvard Review, Poetry, Quarterly West, and Verse. He has just completed his translation of Century Of The Death Of The Rose: The Selected Poems of Jorge Carrera Andrade, 1926-1976. Excerpts from his translation of Astonishing World: The Selected Poems of Angel Gonzalez, 1956-1986 (Milkweed Editions, 1993) were included in The Vintage Anthology of Contemporary World Poetry, edited by J.D. McClatchy (Vintage/Random House, 1996). In 1998 he gave a bilingual reading with Spanish poet Angel Gonzalez at the Americas Society in New York City.
Miriam Baruch Chalfi
Miriam Baruch Chalfi has published two books of poetry in Israel in the past eight years that have been highly praised by critics and readers alike: In the Center, and Longing.
Maya Cantu Maya Cantu
Maya Cantu, a seventeen year old high school senior from Woodbridge, Virginia, has been writing poetry for the past five years. She is a finalist in the yearly writing competition held by the National Council of Teachers of English. Maya is also an actress-singer who plans to study musical theater after graduation.
Paul Celan Paul Celan
Paul Celan is considered among the greatest German poets of this century and probably the major European poet since 1945. He was born Paul Ancel to a Jewish family in Romania in 1920. In 1942 his parents were deported, and he never saw them again. They died in an extermination camp while Celan survived in a labour camp until 1944. After the war, he settled in Paris where he studied German literature and taught and continued to write poetry, usually in German. His work has been widely translated and discussed. He committed suicide in 1970 by drowning in the Seine.
Raquel Chalfi
Raquel Chalfi has been well known as one of Israel's leading poets since her first book, Underwater Poems, published in 1975. Since then she has published five more books, the latest in 1999, Stowaway. She is the daughter of Miriam Baruch Chalfi.
Charles Fishman Charles Fishman
Charles Fishman is the Associate Editor of The Drunken Boat and the founding director of the Visiting Writers Program at SUNY Farmingdale. His books include Mortal Companions, The Firewalkers, Blood to Remember: American Poets on the Holocaust, and The Death Mazurka, which was nominated for the 1990 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. His new collection of poetry, Country of Memory, will be published by Rattapallax Press in Spring 2001. A more extensive list of credits can be found at his biography.
Robert Friend Robert Friend
Robert Friend was an American poet, translator, and educator who lived for nearly fifty years in Jerusalem. Friend was born in 1913 in Brooklyn, New York to Russian immigrant parents. After studying at Brooklyn College, Harvard and Cambridge, he taught English literature and writing in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Panama, France, England, and Germany. Robert Friend settled in Israel in 1950. He taught English and American Literature at the Hebrew University for over thirty years, at the same time becoming well-known as a poet (writing in English) and as a translator of Hebrew poetry. His poems and translations have appeared in many periodicals, including The New York Times, Encounter, The London Magazine, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Partisan Review, Poetry, Ariel, Commentary, The Jerusalem Post, and The Jerusalem Review. His publications include ten volumes of his own verse and six volumes of translations from Hebrew poets. This issue contains a selection from Friend's Found in Translation, poetry, and a feature. See Friend's translations of the following poets:
Natan Alterman
Yocheved Bat-Miriam
Haim Nachman Bialik
Leah Goldberg
Hayim Lenski
Dalia (also spelled Dahlia, editor's note) Ravikovitch
Leah Goldberg
(1911-70) was born in Koenigsberg (now Kaliningrad) and spent her early years in Kovno (now Kaunas), Lithuania. She emigrated to Palestine in 1935, after receiving her Ph.D in Semitic languages at the University of Bonn. Her pared-down style is deceptively simple, even when using traditional forms, such as the sonnet sequence. She was associated with the Hebrew modernist movement, led by Avraham Shlonsky, and with him edited an influential anthology of Russian poetry in translation. She also translated from the English, Italian, French, Greek and Russia. Her translations of As You Like It and of Petrarch's sonnets are considered modern Hebrew classics. She taught from 1952 until the end of her life in the Department of Comparative Literature at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
Hayim Lenski
Hayim Lenski (1905-42?) was born in White Russia and eventually settled in St. Petersburg. In 1934 he was arrested for writing Hebrew and was sentenced to five years hard labour in Siberia. He continued to write Hebrew poems while in the camps and his poems continued to reach Palestine until 1937, when the flow stopped. Lenski returned to St. Petersburg after having served his time, but within a short time he was arrested again and sent to Siberia, where he died of hunger. In 1958 a manuscript by Lenski containing a hundred and thirty-one unpublished poems reached Israel. Lenski wrote sonnets, ballads and satires in a sonorous Hebew enriched by startling imagery. It is a poetry of private concerns, of childhood memories and—particularly in the later work—of the hardship of forced labour and imprisonment.
Heather McHugh
Heather McHugh is Milliman Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at the University of Washington and a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. In addition to six acclaimed books of poetry and the collection of essays Broken English: Poetry and Partiality (Wesleyan, 1994), she has translated poems by Jean Follain and Euripides's Cyclops. She and Nikolai Popov have previously co-translated Because the Sea Is Black by Blaga Dimitrova.
Carol Moldaw
Carol Moldaw lives and teaches in Pojoaque, New Mexico. Her most recent book is Chalkmarks on Stone(La Alameda Press, 1998). Also in 1998, a bilingual edition of her poems, Pencereden/Through the Window was published in Istabul. Currently, she has poems forthcoming in Conjunctions, Manoa, Paris Review, Colorado Review, and Denver Quarterly. With this issue, she joins The Drunken Boat as contributing editor.

Nessa O'Mahony Nessa O'Mahony
Nessa O'Mahony was born in Dublin. Her poetry has appeared in a number of Irish, United Kingdom, Italian and American periodicals including Poetry Ireland Review, Windows, Fortnight, Asylum, The Sunday Tribune, Agenda, Iota, Versodove , and The Atlanta Review and has also been broadcast by RTE. Her first collection, entitled Bar Talk , was published by iTaLiCs Press in February 1999. She is editor of Electric Acorn , the Dublin Writers' Workshop's online literary quarterly, which can be found at http://acorn.dublinwriters.org
Nikolai Popov
Nikolai Popov teaches English and Comparative Literature at the University of Washington in Seattle. A James Joyce scholar and translator, he co-translated with Heather McHugh a collection of the poems of Blaga Dimitrova Because the Sea Is Black (Wesleyan, 1989).
Dalia Ravikovitch
Dalia Ravikovitch (b. 1936) was born in Ramat Gan and studied at the Hebrew University. She published her first collection of poems while in the army and was immediately recognized as a leading new voice, at once disenchanted, restrained and delicately sensual. In recent years her poetry has become more engaged, particularly in its treatment of the Israeli Palestinian conflict as seen from a woman's perspective.
David Romtvedt David Romtvedt
David Romtvedt's A Flower Whose Name I do Not Know (Copper Canyon, 1992) won the National Poetry Series. He is also the author of Windmill:Essays from Four Mile Ranch, Certainty (poetry collection), Crossing Wyoming (fiction), and Yip, A Cowboy's Howl (poetry). He lives in Buffalo, Wyoming where he is a rancher.
Barry Spacks Barry Spacks
A long-time teacher of writing and literature (M.I.T, UC Santa Barbara), Barry Spacks is widely published in paper and pixel (seven collections, including Spacks Street: New & Selected Poems from John Hopkins). Visit his cyber-art page.
Swenson

Karen Swenson
Karen Swenson lives in the center of Manhattan. She has been published in The New Yorker, Paris Review, The Nation, Prairie Schooner, Saturday Review and others. Her latest book, her new and selected, is A Daughter's Latitude(Copper Canyon, 1999). Her travel articles on Tibet, Thailand and other places East have been published by The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.
Sandra Wheeler
Sandra Wheeler has worked as an art teacher in the public schools and as an art director for an advertising agency and for a business magazine. She is now a high school English teacher with a Master's degree in ESL. These are her first poems to be published.
Kirby Wright Kirby Wright
Kirby Wright's poems have appeared in over 100 university reviews and magazines, including Artful Dodge, Blue Mesa Review, Maryland Review, Hawai'i Review, Red Rock Review, The Prose Poem, Reed Magazine, The Cape Rock. He received his MFA from San Francisco State University. He is a past recipient of the Ann Fields Poetry Prize, the Academy of American Poets Award, and the Robert Browning Society Award for Dramatic Monologue. His poem to Queen Lili'uokalani appeared at her statue in Honolulu during the 100-year anniversary of the overthrow of her monarchy. His first novel is making the rounds in New York. His poetry is forthcoming in Palo Alto Review, Slipstream, and at http:www.horizonmag.com
Yaffa Zins
Yaffa Zins, born in Poland, lives in Israel. She is the author of six books of poetry for which she has received numerous awards including the Tel Aviv Foundation Award and the President of Israel's prestigious Amos Awards. She lectures on the Holocaust, teaches poetry, and hosts literary events.