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Abba Kovner

Abba Kovner (1918-1987) was born in Sebastopol, Crimea, and grew up in Vilnius, Lithuania, where he graduated from the Hebrew Gymnasium. After the Nazi invasion, he joined the Jewish underground partisan organization, and in 1943 took command of the United Partisans Organization of the Vilnius ghetto. Shortly before the extermination of the ghetto, he led the Jewish Partisans' Battalion in the neighboring forests. An organizer of illegal immigration during the British Mandate, Kovner was imprisoned, freed and went on to fight in the War of Independence. He wrote his first collection of poetry in 1947, while imprisoned by the British. He then settled on Kibbutz Ein Hahoresh, where he lived until his death. Kovner, a novelist and essayist, was most notably a poet. He has been critically acclaimed worldwide. He received the prestigious Israel Prize for his work. Abba Kovner's experiences during World War II and the establishment of the State of Israel influence his writing throughout. "Poetry," said Kovner, "is a request for forgiveness for what we do in our lives, and for what was done to us." His poetry is very personal, yet painfully universal. Using rhyme, assonance, unusual syntax and graphic technique with formidable technical skill, Kovner dissolves the barriers between we, you, I and she. "The struggle to survive is eternal and timeless," writes poet Shirley Kaufman. "Kovner knows it in everything he writes... His concerns transcend the concerns of one people. The central predicament of his poems is not national but metaphysical and moral." He questions how we remain human in an inhuman world.

Books Published in Hebrew            
While There is Still Night, Sifriat Poalim, 1947 [Ad-Lo-Or]            
Parting From the South, Sifriat Poalim, 1949 [Prida Me-Ha-Darom]           
Sandy Ground, Sifriat Poalim, 1961 [Admat Ha-Chol]            
Of All the Loves, Sifriat Poalim, 1965 [Mi-Kol Ha-Ahavot]            
My Little Sister, Sifriat Poalim, 1967 [Achoti Ha-Ktana]            
A Canopy in the Desert, Sifriat Poalim, 1970 [Chupa Ba-Midbar]

The Rhythm Band Appears, Sifriat Poalim, 1972 [Lehakat Ha-Ketzev Mofi'a Al Har Grizim]            
The Small Book, Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1973 [Ha-Sefer Ha-Katan] Observation Points, Sifriat Poalim, 1977 [Tatzpit]            
To, Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1980 [El]
Scrolls of Fire, Keter, 1981 [Megilot Ha-Esh]
Sloan-Kettering, Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1986 [Sloan Kettering]

Songs of Rosa, Sifriat Poalim, 1987 [Shirat Rosa]            
Collected Poems, Bialik Institute, 1996 [Kol Shirei Abba Kovner]

Delaying Wounds, Am Oved, 1998 [Le'akev Et Ha-Kri'a]

Wear Your Light, Shlomit, Sifriat Poalim, 2017 [Livshi Orech Shlomit: Me-Aba Le-Shlomit Bito]

Face to Face (2-vol. novel), Sifriat Poalim, 1953 [Panim El Panim]
On the Narrow Bridge (essays), Sifriat Poalim, 1981 [Al Ha-Gesher Ha-Tzar]
His Own and About Him, Beit Mordechai Anilevitch, 1988 [Mi-Shelo Ve-Alav]
Testimonial Scrolls, Bialik Institute, 1993 [Megilot Ha-Edut]

A Journey to the Land of Imagination (children), Sifriat Poalim, 1981 [Masa El Eretz Ha-Dimyon]
Something About Whales (children), Sifriat Poalim, 1989 [Mashehu Al Livyatanim]
Michael, the Little Angel (children), Sifriat Hapoalim, 1989 [Ha-Malach Ha-Katan Michael]

Books in Translation            
Abba Kovner and Nelly Sachs: Selected Poems            
English: Harmondsworth, Penguin Books, 1971            

A Canopy in the Desert            
English: Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh Press, 1973            

My Little Sister & Selected Poems            
English: Oberlin, Oberlin College Press, 1986            

Testimonial Scrolls            
Russian: Jerusalem, Aliya Library, 1989
Mother and Child
English: New York, World Zionist Organization, 1972  

Abba Kovner

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!