Poetry

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Grace Paley

Paley has written highly acclaimed short stories, poetry, and reflections on contemporary politics and culture.

Kadya Molodowsky

How can a Yiddish woman writer reconcile her art with Judaism’s definition of a woman’s role? Kadya Molodowsky’s answer to that question in her poems, children’s poems, novels, short stories, essays, plays, autobiography, and journalism, published between 1927 and 1974, evolved into even broader questions about the very survival of Jews in the modern world.

Adah Isaacs Menken

Internationally famous for her starring role in the equestrian melodrama Mazeppa, in which she was stripped on stage to a flesh-colored body stocking, lashed to the back of the “wild horse of Tartary,” and sent flying on a narrow ramp above the theater, Adah Isaacs Menken consistently defied social mores.

Lenore Guinzburg Marshall

Lenore Guinzburg Marshall, novelist, poet, and activist, was born in New York City on September 7, 1897. She was the daughter of Harry and Leonie (Kleinert) Guinzburg. A student at Barnard College, class of 1919, where she was an editor of the monthly literary magazine The Bear, and a member of the Intercollegiate Socialist Society, Lenore was described in her class yearbook with the following verse: “Our manner toward her’s friendly / and even rather gracious, / For no one slings / Such odes and things / As does our lauriger Horatius.”

Judith Malina

Personifying the 1960s countercultural challenge to traditionalism, self-proclaimed anarchist and pacifist Judith Malina once likened herself to a biblical prophet, railing at but never dissociating herself from her people. Founder, with Julian Beck, of the experimental Living Theatre, she aimed at dissolving the separation between actor and character, cast and audience, art and politics.

Hagar: Apocrypha

Reference to Hagar appears in a wisdom poem (Bar 3:9–4:4) that is itself part of an apocryphal letter written sometime between 200 to 60 b.c.e. to the priests and people of Jerusalem from Baruch, the scribe and close friend of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 36).

Aliza Greenblatt

Deep love for the Jewish people informed the life of Aliza Greenblatt, an American Yiddish poet and an early, committed leader in Zionist and Jewish women’s organizations. Greenblatt was among the first to organize the American Jewish community and raise funds toward the establishment of a Jewish national home. Many of her poems, which were widely published in the Yiddish press, were also set to music and recorded.

Rajzel Zychlinski

Rajzel Zychlinski’s poetry was shaped by the hopes and horrors of the twentieth century. She lived in Poland, the Soviet Union, France and the United States and was fluent in five languages, but for over seventy years she wrote only in the one idiom that was truly hers: Yiddish.

Zelda

Religious lyrics infused with a visionary wildness, the poems of Zelda Schneurson Mishkovsky—known to her readers simply as Zelda—are utterly unique, not part of any poetic school in Hebrew letters. So too, the poet herself was unique, in background and in personality, among modern Hebrew writers.

Yudica

Yudica was the pseudonym of Yehudit Zik, a poet whose reputation in Yiddish literature was largely developed during her three decades in Canada.

Jane Yolen

Jane Yolen has written books for children and adults in genres that include science fiction, mystery, animal tales, historical fiction, humor and poetry, but she is best known for her literary renderings of the worlds of fantasy, folklore and myth.

Miriam Yalan-Stekelis

Miriam Yalan-Stekelis’s children’s poems have become an integral part of the cultural repertoire of kindergartens and schools in Israel, reflecting and shaping the everyday lives of children both past and present.

Writers in Victorian England

Spurred to publish, in the first instance, as a response to the concerted campaigning of Christian conversionists, women writers were the first Anglo-Jews to produce literature on Jewish themes in England.

Bertha Wiernik

Writer and translator Bertha Wiernik was born to Hirsch Wolf and Sarah Rachel (Milchiger) Wiernik in Vilna, Lithuania, on March 21, 1884.

Ruth Whitman

Her autobiographical poems are about her journey through life.

Yona Wallach

Regarded by many of her friends and colleagues as the most important among the young Israeli poets of the 1960s, she has had a profound effect on Israel’s cultural life ever since her works began to appear in periodicals in the early 1960s.

Miriam Dworkin Waddington

Born in Winnipeg, Canada, Miriam Waddington was educated in an intellectually and culturally progressive Yiddish environment, an upbringing which may have inspired her to write poetry whose powerful voice challenged the patriarchal assumptions still endemic among her fellow modernist poets.

Malka Heifetz Tussman

Malka Heifetz Tussman served as a bridge between the generations of Yiddish poets who emigrated from Eastern Europe and of those American-born Jewish poets who have taken up the task of making Yiddish poetry known to a readership that knows little Yiddish.

Marie Trommer

Marie Trommer was an early twentieth-century writer, poet, artist, art critic, and contributor to American Jewish newspapers.

Hannah Szenes (Senesh)

One of the more poignant songs included in many Holocaust memorial convocations held in Israel, is a short poem, set to music, known popularly as “Eli, Eli.” The four-line poem, actually entitled “Walking to Caesarea,” was written by one of the more mythological figures in contemporary Jewish and Israeli history, Hannah Szenes, whose short life and death have propelled her into the pantheon of Zionist history.

Margarete Susman

A writer whose works span the bridge between literature and theory, Margarete Susman's writings are as heterogeneous as her interests.

Sarra Copia Sullam

The most accomplished, and thus the least typical, Jewish woman writer of early-modern Italy was Sarra Copia Sullam (c. 1592–1641). The details of her life reveal the great opportunities and potential dangers in the life of at least one woman of wealth and talent.

Florine Stettheimer

The career of Florine Stettheimer, painter, poet, and designer, offers an alternative to prevailing modes of contemporary modernist painting.

Muriel Spark

While many of her critics marginalize Spark as a “Catholic writer,” it is clear that the wit, intelligence and subversiveness of her fiction are driven not by an unchanging morality but by a radical singularity.

Alice Hyneman Sotheran

Alice Hyneman Sotheran, author, lecturer, and reviewer for a variety of magazines in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, wrote about women’s work and women’s issues.

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