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Solar Plexus: Poems 1975-1999

Raquel Chalfi

Already when her first book was published, in the mid-1970s, Raquel Chalfi’s poetry stood out for its poetic distinction and the originality of its worldview. Indeed, her poetry reflects a rich, emotive and chaotic inner world: Gazing at the outside world with wonder and curiosity, Chalfi is vulnerable and shifting, without clear boundaries and riddled with inner contradictions. She questions the intriguing similarity between self and cosmos, and the urge to merge with the world creates exciting but also perilous experiences. Fusion with the cosmic or social world is multi-faceted, and Chalfi’s attitude toward it is ambivalent. For these are experiences that threaten the “I” with loss of control and a collision that may lead to the brink of insanity.
These fears are expressed, for example, in the flora and fauna that populate Chalfi’s poetry - real, imaginary or hybrid creatures, sometimes marvels full of vitality and at others monsters. Chalfi’s witches play a similar role - these poems have aroused much interest and become very popular among readers. But her witches express ambivalent qualities: daring, power, creativity, sexual independence and a revolt against repression on the one hand, and on the other: vulnerability, resignation, victimhood, and painful crashes to the ground of reality. Thus they are both wondrous and mundane; they soar to heights, but then sink down to reality, are defeated and pay the price.

Raquel Chalfi electrifies words that are very familiar to us, and makes us see, for the first time, what we have seen many times without seeing. She's a lyrical poet, subtle and precise, whose work radiates warmth, life, and wisdom.

Author Amos Oz

Raquel Chalfi’s poetry is existentialist in the fullest sense of the word…She always aims at the great existential questions … A kaleidoscope of enormous proportions.  

Poet Rafi Veichert


Raquel Chalfi is one of the most talented and original Hebrew poets of recent decades … Her poetry has a clear influence over other poets and she has a loyal readership … Lovers of modern poetry can expect an enthralling reading experience. 

Prof. Avraham Balaban


An important poet. Chalfi’s verse contains both independence and risk. She has broken down a number of fences … Great sensitivity to the landscapes of the country, and excellent erotic poems … No one else writes like this. Chalfi doesn’t follow fashions or join camps. Her poetry is very unique and interesting
Prof. Gabriel Moked

One of the cleverest and most important poetry created here over the past generation … Chalfi has created some of the most trenchant and exciting poems about sexuality, love of children and growing old … This is very clever poetry that is intermittently reminiscent of Wislawa Szymborska – in its lucidity, its intellectuality, and in the new, “low” humanism that emerges from it. 

Prof. Ariel Hirschfeld


Title Solar Plexus: Poems 1975-1999
Author’s Last Name Chalfi
Author's First Name Raquel
Language(s) Hebrew
Publisher (Hebrew) Hakibbutz Hameuchad
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 2002; ext. ed. 2005
No. Pages 449 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Mikla'at Ha-Shemesh
Representation Represented by ITHL


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The prize is given to a translator whose career has demonstrated a commitment to excellence through the body of their work. Barbara Harshav has been translating works from French, German, Hebrew and Yiddish for over twenty years and has currently published over forty books of translation. Among the many Hebrew authors she has translated: Yoram Kaniuk, Agnon, Yehudit Hendel, Yehuda Amichai and many more.
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The fourth German-Hebrew/Hebrew-German translation workshop April 29 to May 5, 2018 Beit Ben-Yehuda, Jerusalem
After workshops in Berlin, Jerusalem and Straelen, the workshop will return to Jerusalem this spring. This workshop will focus on the participants translations. These are unfinished translations that have not yet been published. These will be sent to all participants. The workshop is open to 10 participants and is intended for literary translators with experience and publications. Workshop facilitators: Anne Birkenhauer and Gadi Goldberg Prerequisites: At least one published translation Duration: Sunday, April 29, 2018 until Saturday, May 5, 2018 Location: Beit Ben-Yehuda, 28 Ein Gedi St., 93383 Jerusalem Participation fee: Participation (Accommodation and meals) is free of charge. Travel / flight expenses will be refunded. For more details and for the documents required for submitting application: Anne Birkenhauer, and Gadi Goldberg,
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Ayelet Gundar-Goshen's "Waking Lions" is longlisted for the 2018 International Dublin Literary Award
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