Selections from twenty-seven Hebrew poets, many of whose poems appear here in English for the first time.
Poets on the Edge introduces four decades of Israel's most vigorous poetic voices. Selected and translated by author Tsipi Keller, the collection showcases a generous sampling of work from twenty-seven established and emerging poets, bringing many to readers of English for the first time. Thematically and stylistically innovative, the poems chart the evolution of new currents in Hebrew poetry that emerged in the late 1950s and early 1960s and, in breaking from traditional structures of line, rhyme, and meter, have become as liberated as any contemporary American verse. Writing on politics, sexual identity, skepticism, intellectualism, community, country, love, fear, and death, these poets are daring, original, and direct, and their poems are matched by the freshness and precision of Keller's translations.
Tsipi Keller was born in Prague, raised in Israel, and has been living in the United States since 1974. Her short fiction and her poetry translations have appeared in many journals and anthologies, and her novels include Jackpot; Retelling; and The Prophet of Tenth Street. Keller has also translated several poetry collections, including Dan Pagis's Last Poems and Irit Katzir's And I Wrote Poems. She lives in West Palm Beach, Florida.
"For English-speaking readers (and writers), both Jewish and non-Jewish, the book will explode whatever lingering stereotypes there may be about Israeli culture. More broadly, it will confirm Israel's place in world literature today as a cornucopia of poetry. You won't want to miss out on Poets on the Edge. " — phati'tude Literary Magazine
"Tsipi Keller … put together the perfect combination of twenty-seven established and emerging Hebrew poets bringing many to readers of English for the first time … In the end, it's the writing that shines through. The poets touch on politics, sexual identity, skepticism, intellectualism, community, country, love, fear, and death, with much of the work daring, original and direct; and are matched by the freshness and precision of Keller's translations. " — phati'tude Literary Magazine
"…an introduction for an English-speaking audience to the wealth of contemporary poets writing in Israel today … The careful translations are sensitive to both Hebrew cadence and English idiom. Covering a wide range of themes including love, politics, doubt, death, identity, and even poetry itself, these poems are a carefully curated collection. " — Jewish Book World
"This poetry from Israel reveals a culture far more diverse than American stereotypes would suggest … [The poets] share … a precision of language and feeling that should seem both familiar and fresh to non-Israeli readers of poetry. " — HeadButler. com
"This new anthology of Hebrew poetry in translation has two special strengths—tremendous depth and a personal touch … It's clear that [Keller] has strong feelings on which poets matter, and wants to explain why they matter. " — Jerusalem Post
"Poets on the Edge deserves to be in every poetry lover's library, and should be on every Jewish bookshelf. Not since Carmi's 1981 The Penguin Book of Hebrew Verse has a volume of such significance been published. " — The Jewish Daily Forward
"…a feast of a book … brilliantly translated by a gifted poet. For American readers, who are likely to know much more about Israeli fiction than its poetry, … Poets on the Edge will be a revelation. " — Alicia Suskin Ostriker, JBooks. com
"This commendable project casts a wide net, demonstrating the impressive range of urgencies and preoccupations in the contemporary literary landscape of Israel. " — Critical Mass, the blog of the national book critics circle board of directors
"This comprehensive and amazing anthology is a great read best taken slowly, savoring each page of outstanding poetry. Tsipi Keller has had the patience and intelligence to select a stimulating and powerful group of poems, with accurate and very readable translations. " — Shirley Kaufman
"Poets on the Edge is a true masterpiece. The translations are sensitive, wise, graceful, and insightful; the selection is rich and inviting. What a brilliant achievement!" — Miriyam Glazer, American Jewish University
"Keller's breathtaking anthology, some twenty years in the making, shows that voices of contemporary Israeli poetry can be compellingly narrative, elegantly lyrical, elegiac, passionate, eccentric, and even phantasmagoric. Her translations convey the skepticism, wit, and energy of these poets who speak of loves and breakups, query their places in Jewish history, contemplate metaphysical questions, and paint pictures of everyday life in Israel. " — Lynn Levin, Drexel University and The University of Pennsylvania