Celia Dropkin

Celia Dropkin defied both social and artistic conventions with her sensual, free–verse, Yiddish poetry. Dropkin studied at a local gymnasium and taught at a school in Warsaw. Dropkin began writing poetry at age ten and after immigrating to New York in 1912 she translated some of her poems into Yiddish while continuing to write poetry in Russian. The translations were published in avant–garde Yiddish journals in the 1920s and 1930s, earning praise from some of the great poets of her time, but they also generated controversy for their erotic imagery and their discussion of love and death. Dropkin also wrote an unpublished biography of her husband and several short stories, although none were as well regarded as well as her poems. In her later years, Dropkin turned to visual art, painting in both oils and watercolors. Only one collection of her poetry was published in her lifetime, In Heysn Vint (In the Hot Wind), printed in 1935. However, in 1959 her children reissued the book in an expanded edition that included her previously unpublished poems, her short stories, and her paintings.


Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Yiddish writer Celia Dropkin (1887 – 1956) both shocked and delighted New York literary society of the 1920s and 1930s with her poetic depictions of the primary elements of the human experience: love, sex and death.

Institution: John Dropkin.

Date of Birth


Date of Death
Educator, Poet, Writer, Artist

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Celia Dropkin." (Viewed on January 18, 2021) <https://jwa.org/people/dropkin-celia>.


Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

Get JWA in your inbox