Bilingual, English-Hebrew Publishing

Bilingual editions of poetry originally published in Hebrew are not easy to find. Here are some options (UPDATED 5/16/19) —

Toby Press

The Toby Press, part of the Koren Publishing website group, is not yet 20 years old and “dedicated to expanding the Judaic literary canon, publishing works both classical and contemporary, fiction and non-fiction, original and in translation.” (Their customer service is great, in my experience, BTW.) They offer a few books in English about Hebrew poetry, an anthology, as well as an anthology and two titles (each $15) from individual Israeli authors:

  • Found in Translation: Modern Hebrew Poets, a Bilingual Edition. Translated by Robert Friend, selected with an introduction by Gabriel Levin. New Milford, CT: Toby Press, 2006.
  • A Different Source: Selected Poems. Miron C. Izakson. Translated by Betsy Rosenberg and Richard Sherwin. Mew Milford, CT: Toby Press, 2010.
  • These Mountains: Selected Poems of Rivka Miriam. Translated by Linda Stern Zisquit. New Milford, CT: Toby Press, 2009.

Center for Middle Eastern Studies

Center for Middle Eastern Studies at UT-Austin offers quite a few English-Arabic titles but only two English-Hebrew. Their publications relate directly to their educational mission, of course, but perhaps purchases directly from UT Press, of Gidali’s book and/or the other English-Hebrew volume, will help deliver the message that there is a market for such books:

  • Twenty Girls to Envy Me. Selected Poems of Orit Gidali. Translated from the Hebrew by Marcela Sulak. Austin: CMES at University of Texas, 2016. Book link at UT Press: active title ($16)
  • No Rattling of Sabers: An Anthology of Israeli War Poetry. Translation and introduction by Esther Raizen. Austin: CMES at Univ. of Texas, 1995. Book link at UT Press: print-on-demand ($19)

More Publishers

BOA Editions Ltd offers bilingual poetry editions, with English translations of Hindi, Polish, and other languages as well as Hebrew. Just one bilingual Hebrew/English and one English-only translation of an Israeli Hebrew poet.

  • Bitton, Erez. Translated by Tsipi Keller. You Who Cross My Path: The Selected Poetry of Erez Bitton. BILINGUAL. Rochester, NY: BOA Editions Ltd., 2015
  • Bejerano, Maya. Translated by Tsipi Keller. The Hymns of Job. ENGLISH ONLY. Rochester, NY: BOA Editions Ltd, 2008

University of Wisconsin Press offers one bilingual Hebrew-English volume and one English-only translation of an Israeli Hebrew poet.

  • Someck, Ronny. The Fire Stays in Red: Poems. Translated by Moshe Dor and Barbara Goldberg. BILINGUAL. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 2002
  • Reich, Asher. The Poetry of Asher Reich: Portrait of a Hebrew Poet. Translations and essays by Yair Mazor. Illustrations by Michael Kovner. ENGLISH ONLY. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 2003

U.S.-based, or U.S-born, Hebrew authors

Ruth Finer Mintz notes, in Modern Hebrew Poetry (below), that she is only including Israeli authors, believing poetry written in Hebrew in the U.S. “merits its own separate consideration.” Some collections below and above do include writers who lived mostly or exclusively in the U.S., but often “contemporary Hebrew” and “Israeli” are treated as synonymous. Here are some volumes from non-Israeli authors:

  • Sunset Possibilities and Other Poems. Gabriel Preil. Translated and with an introduction by Robert Friend. (Jewish Poetry Series) Philadelphia, PA: Jewish Publication Society, 1985. (My copy is one of the volumes generously shared by the family of Max Ticktin, z”l, from his personal and teaching library; so that probably colors my feelings, but I love this author.)
  • At the Stone of Losses. T. Carmi. Translated and with an introduction by Grace Schulman. (Jewish Poetry Series) Philadelphia, PA: Jewish Publication Society, 1985. (Also fond of this author, who is widely known as a translator as well; Carmi was born in the U.S. to Hebrew-speaking parents and lived in the U.S., Europe, and Israel.)
  • Women’s Hebrew Poetry on American Shores: Poems by Anne Kleiman and Annabelle Farmelant. Translated by Adriana X. Jacobs and Yosefa Raz. Edited by Shachar Pinsker. Detroit: Wayne State University, 2016. (Have not read this one yet, so cannot comment other than to say the idea intrigues me and it IS a currently published bilingual edition.)

More Collections, Old and New

  • Modern Hebrew Poetry: A Bilingual Anthology. Edited and translated by Ruth Finer Mintz. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1966.
  • The Modern Hebrew Poem Itself (New and Updated Edition). Edited by Stanley Burnshaw, T. Carmi, Susan Glassman, Ariel Hirschfeld, and Ezra Spicehandler. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2003.
    This is an unusual resource in that it doesn’t exactly “translate” the poem into any approximation of English poetry, but rather talks the reader through an understanding of the Hebrew. There is also an older version (1965) available used — it’s fine as far as it goes (it’s the one I own), but be aware which you’re purchasing.
  • The Penguin Book of Hebrew Verse. Edited by T. Carmi. London: Penguin, 1980.
    Includes poems from bible through the 1970s. Lots of useful information in addition to poems themselves, provided in Hebrew with “English prose translation.” Even given the time-span, this is very male-heavy.

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