Poetry

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Rajzel Zychlinsky

Praised as one of the most original voices in modern Yiddish poetry, Rajzel Zychlinski used free verse and sparse language to capture the devastation of the Holocaust.

Florine Stettheimer

Florine Stettheimer asked her sister Ettie to destroy her work after her death, but Ettie’s refusal saved dozens of Florine’s exquisite paintings and celebrated poems for the public to enjoy.

Fradel Shtok

Despite the brevity of her career, Fradel Shtok showed great promise as a Yiddish writer for her attention to the little-discussed subjects of women’s sexuality and repression.

Grace Seixas Nathan

Although her writing was never published in her lifetime, Grace Seixas Nathan’s poetry and letters showed her passion for her country, her family, and her religion.
"I Carry My Mother" by Leslea Newman

Book Review: I Carry My Mother

by  Miriam Cantor-Stone

I Carry My Mother is not only a tribute to the works of famous poets but, more importantly, to Newman’s mother, who passed away three years ago. The poems show her mother both as Newman wants her to be remembered as well as how Newman saw her as she was dying in her hospital bed.

Topics: Poetry

Grace Schulman

Grace Schulman’s poetry compresses time and space, merging the past and present and exploring the mysteries of religion.

Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman

Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman bridged the old world and the new as an award-winning modern writer of Yiddish poetry.

Laura Riding

Laura Riding was as known in literary circles for her tumultuous personal life as for her exceptional poetry, regularly changing her name to mark transformative moments in her life.

Sarah Reisen

Sarah Reisen was both a gifted Yiddish writer in her own right and a respected translator of great literature into Yiddish for children and adults.

Alicia Suskin Ostriker

Alicia Suskin Ostriker’s award-winning poetry and groundbreaking literary criticism are profoundly shaped by her feminist activism.

Kadya Molodowsky

One of the brightest stars of the Yiddish literary world, Kadya Molodowsky defied categorization—advocating for both Yiddish and Zionist culture, refusing to be defined as “just” a woman writer—all while crafting a staggering body of acclaimed poems, stories, and essays.

Penina Moïse

Penina Moïse shaped Jewish culture through her poetry as the first woman poet included in an American prayer book.

Eve Merriam

Eve Merriam mingled poetry for children with devastating social criticism for adults, like her Inner City Mother Goose, which became one of the most banned books of all time.

Alice Babette Toklas moves in permanently with Gertrude Stein.

September 9, 1910
Alice Babette Toklas heard distinct chiming when she met Gertrude Stein.
Adrienne Rich

Poetry is Politics

by Rachel Landau

One of the best ways to write poetry is to read poetry: this is common knowledge probably spoken at every writing class in the world. However, this advice is not specific enough. The leader of the class should instead announce to the group of rookie writers that one of the best ways to write poetry is to read the poetry of Adrienne Rich.

Topics: Activism, Poetry

Lenore Guinzburg Marshall

A talented writer and poet in her own right, editor Lenore Guinzburg Marshall pushed her publishing company to publish William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury after it had been rejected by twelve other publishers.

Anna Margolin

Under the name Anna Margolin, Rosa Lebensboim wrote what critics called some of the finest Yiddish poetry of the earliest twentieth century.

Long-lost poem by war heroine Hannah Szenes is found.

September 2, 2012

A poem by WWII hero Hannah Szenes was discovered 68 years after her death.

Minnie Dessau Louis

Minnie Dessau Louis helped immigrant Jewish women find real success in America through the many and varied schools she ran.

Myra Cohn Livingston

Both through her poetry and her teaching, Myra Cohn Livingston inspired children to explore the music of language.
Emma Lazarus

Mining the Archive: Emma and Immigration

by Yana Kozukhin

Long before Emma Lazarus’ words were immortalized on that great copper statue, she was a young Jewish American girl growing up in New York. Throughout her life she produced numerous poems, essays, letters, translations, and even a novel.  

Topics: Activism, Poetry

Malka Lee

Malka Lee’s lyrical Yiddish poems won over both critics and general American Jewish audiences, but it was her work dedicated to the family she lost in the Holocaust that had the most lasting impact.

Shirley Kaufman

Shirley Kaufman used her Jewish heritage to create evocative poetry, exploring biblical matriarchs, her own mother’s immigrant past, and the tensions of daily life in modern Israel.

Rebekah Gumpert Hyneman

In her poems, essays, and short stories, Rebekah Gumpert Hyneman urged her fellow Jews to resist assimilation and understand the power and beauty of their tradition.

Leah Cohen Harby

A member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the United Daughters of the Confederacy, Leah ““Lee” Cohen Harby’s patriotism and her pride in her Southern roots found an outlet in her essays, short stories, and poetry.
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