Home  \  Authors  \  Authors  \ 

Nathan Alterman

Nathan Alterman (1910-1970) was born in Warsaw, Poland, and settled in Tel Aviv in 1925. He studied agronomy in France. His first poems were published in 1931. Alterman was a regular contributor of political verse to the daily Haaretz, and later to the Labor daily, Davar. A poetic spokesmen for the national struggle, many of his poems were banned by the British Mandate authorities and were passed from hand to hand by an eager public. Alterman also wrote the lyrics for several songs that became overnight hits. After 1948 social and political themes became the dominant feature in Alterman's public verse. A member of a group of modernist poets, Alterman was a leader of Hebrew poetry's avant-garde. A prolific lyricist, playwright and essayist, he also translated many works into Hebrew, including pieces by Shakespeare and Moliere. Alterman received the Tchernichovsky Prize twice for his translations (1946; 1967), the Ruppin Prize (1947), the Bialik Prize (1957) and the Israel Prize for Literature (1968).            

Books Published in Hebrew            
Stars Outside (poetry), Yachdav, 1938; Machbarot Lesifrut, 1945; Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1995 [Kochavim Ba-Chutz]
Joy of the Poor (poetry), Machbarot Lesifrut, 1941 [Simchat Aniyim]
The Tenth Chick (children-picture bk), Machbarot Lesifrut, 1943; new ed. Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1973; new ed. 2005 [Ha-Efroach Ha-Asiri]
Plague Poems (poetry), Machbarot Lesifrut, 1944 [Shirei Makot Mitzrayim]
The Seventh Column [vol. 1] (poetry), Davar, 1948; new ed. Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 2003; rev. ed. 2004 [Ha-Tur Ha-Shvi'i (Tashach)]            
The Seventh Column [vol. 2] (poetry), Davar, 1954 [Ha-Tur Ha-Shvi'i]
City of the Dove (poetry), Machbarot Lesifrut, 1957 [Ir Ha-Yona]
The Singing Book of Friendship (poetry), Machbarot Lesifrut, 1958 [Sefer Ha-Teiva Ha-Mezameret] 
Poems of Ten Brothers (poetry), Machbarot Lesifrut, 1961 [Shir Asara Ahim]
The Writings of Nathan Alterman [4 vols.], Machbarot Lesifrut/ Davar/ Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1961-1962 [Ktavim]
Kinneret, Kinneret (play), Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1962 [Kinneret, Kinneret]            
Ghosts' Inn (play), Amikam, 1962 [Pundak Ha-Ruchot] Pythagoras' Trial (play), Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1965 [Mishpat Pitagoras]            
Summer Celebration (poetry), Machbarot Lesifrut, 1965 [Chagigat Kayitz]
Esther the Queen (play), Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1966 [Esther Ha-Malka]
The Final Mask (satire), Maariv, 1968 [Ha-Masecha Ha-Achrona]
Between the Poet and the Statesman (poetry & letters), Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1971; ext. ed. Hakibbutz Hameuchad, Mosad Alterman, 1986 [Bein Ha-Meshorer La-Medinai]
Collected Work [16 vols.], Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1971-1979 [Kol Kitvei Nathan Alterman]            
The Silver Platter: Selected Poems (poetry), Ministry of Defense, 1974 [Magash Ha-Kesef: Mivchar Shirim]
Og King of Bashan (children-picture bk), Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1975; new ed. 2011 [Og Melech Ha-Bashan]
Rhymes for children (children), Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1976; rev. ed. 2002 [Charuzim Li-Yladim]
Little Tel Aviv (non-fiction), Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1979 [Tel-Aviv Ha-Ktana]
The Front Stand (poetry), Hakibbutz Hameuchad, Mosad Alterman, 1980 [Ha-Emda Ha-Kidmit: Mi-Shirei Ha-Et Ve-Ha-Iton]
From: Stars Outside, Joy of the Poor, Plague Poems, City of the Dove (poetry), Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1980 [Mi-Toch: Kochavim Ba-Chutz, Simchat Aniyim, Shirei Makot Mitzrayim, Ir Ha-Yona]
What a Wonder (children), Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1983 [Eize Pele]
Poems 1931-1935 (poems), 1979; Hakibbutz Hameuchad, Mosad Alterman, 1984 [Shirim: 1931-1935]
The Seventh Column [extraneouse columns, 3 vols.] (poetry), Hakibbutz Hameuchad, Mosad Alterman, 1986-2005 [Ha-Tur Ha-Shvi'i]
Both Roads (non-fiction], Hakibbutz Hameuchad, Mosad Akterman, 1989 [Al Shtei Ha-Drachim: Dapim Min Ha-Pinkas]
Last Days of Ur (play), Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1990 [Yemey Ur Ha-Achronim]
In Praise of Frivolity (poetry), Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1997 [Shivchey Kalut Ha-Da'at]
Love Poems [with Avner Katz] (poetry), Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1998; 2007 [Shirey Ahava]
Tel-Aviv Serenade [with Alex Levac] (poetry), Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1999 [Serenada Tel-Avivit]
Poems of Yore (poetry), rev. ed. Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1999 [Shirim She-Mikvar]
The Seventh Column: Israeli Art from the Benno Kalev's Collection (poetry), Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 2000 [Ha-Tur Ha-Shvi'i: Omanut Isra'elit Me-Osef Benno Kalev]
A Tale of a Final Pe (children-picture bk), Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 2000 [Ma'ase Be-Fe Sofit]
It All Happened at Hannuka (children-picture bk), Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 2001 [Ze Haya Ba-Chanuka: O, Nes Gadol Haya Po]
You Should Ring Twice (songs), Hakibbutz Hameuchad, Israel Broadcasting Authority, 2002 [Tzarich Le-Tzaltzel Pa'amayim: Shirei Zemer, Shirei Sefer, Pizmonim]
A Tale of a Small Chirik (children-picture bk), Hakibbutz Hameuchadm 2003 [Ma'ase Be-Chirik Katan]
The Seventh Column [6 vols.] (poetry & prose), annotated ed. Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 2009-2017 [Ha-Tur Ha-Shvi'i]
Why Do Animals Need a Tail? (children-picture bk), Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 2011 [Lama Tzrichot Ha-Chayot Zanav?]
Moments [3 vols.] (poetry), annotated ed. Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 2011-  [Rega'im]

Yet Again the Melody Returns, Sifriat Poalim, 2017 [Od Chozer Ha-Nigun: Mivchar]

Kinneret, Kinneret [Cameri, 1961]
Ghosts' Inn [Cameri, 1962]
Pythagoras' Trial [Habima, 1965]
The Flea Market (musical) [Cameri, 1965]
Esther the Queen [Cameri, 1966]
Tzatz Ve-Tzatza (musical) [Cameri, 1969]
Summer Celebration [Cameri, 1972]

Books in Translation
Selected Poems
English/Hebrew: Tel Aviv, Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1978

Little Tel Aviv
English: Tel Aviv, Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1981

The Silver Platter
Russian: Tel Aviv, Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1974
Italian: Tel Aviv, Hadas, 1998   


Nathan Alterman

Books Published in Hebrew

Books in Translation

Congratulations to Zeruya Shalev and Shifra Horn for receiving the 2017 Adei Wizo Prize.

Ayelet Gundar-Goshen's "Waking Lions" is longlisted for the 2018 International Dublin Literary Award
Ayelet Gundar-Goshen's "Waking Lions" is longlisted for the 2018 International Dublin Literary Award! The books on the longlist are selected by 400 libraries worldwide. Titles are nominated on the basis of ‘high literary merit’ as determined by the nominating library.
The second edition of the Letters of Israel festival will take place in Paris from September 8 to 18, 2017
After the success of its first edition, the Lettres d'Israël festival is gaining momentum, with an enriched program: meetings, conversations, readings , Theater, major authors and discoveries. Zeruya Shalev, Orly Castel-bloom, Ayelet Gundar-Goshen, Iris Argaman, and many more will participate. Click here for the full program:
Call for application: Artists in Residence Programme in Austria. Please note the deadline: September 18th, 2017.
In co-operation with KulturKontakt Austria, the Austrian Federal Chancellery makes available 50 residencies to visual artists / art photographers / composers / video and media artists / writers / literary translators and arts and cultural educators in Vienna and Salzburg for the year 2018. For more details:
Yizhak Mayer: "Meet the Author" Event
Ambassador Yizhak Mayer, author of the moving book “Silent Letter” will hold a “meet the author” event in Netanya. For further info about the event: And for more details about the title click here:
ITHL director on Grossman's win
"Grossman winning is not only his own achievement, but the achievement of the Hebrew literature as a whole", - Nilli Cohen on the first Hebrew author to receive Man Booker International Prize. Click here for the full article in Hebrew.
Chana Bloch dies at 77
Chana Bloch, a revered poet and translator from Hebrew and Yiddish, has sadly passed away earlier this month. Among her many remarkable achievements is the wonderful translation of a collection of poems by Dahlia Ravikovitch​ (W. W. Norton & Company). Chana will be greatly missed.
Yitzchak Mayer's personal website goes live
English edition of Yitzchak Mayer's amazing "Silent Letter" is about to come out with Mosaic Press. Learn more about the author's incredible life story on his brand new website.
Dayan on feminism and writing
Following the release of "Transitions" in English, Yael Dayan talks to Lilith Magazine about her past aspirations and present pursuits. Click here to read the full interview.
Gundar-Goshen's Op-Ed for Time
To mark the US publication of "Waking Lions" Ayelet Gundar-Goshen talks about the refugee crisis, internal walls and people behind them in the op-ed for Time. Click here to read the article.
MHL - New webzine starting soon!