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Shimon Adaf

Shimon Adaf was born in Sderot, Israel, in 1972 to parents of Moroccan origin and now lives in Jaffa. He began publishing poetry during his military service. A poet, novelist and musician, Adaf studied in the program for outstanding students at Tel Aviv University, simultaneously writing articles on literature, film and rock music for leading Hebrew newspapers. He was also a founding member of the literary group "ev" whose aim was to find a new poetic interface between classical and modern Hebrew. Adaf worked for several years as literary editor at Keter Publishing House, and has also been writer-in-residence at Iowa University. At present, he lectures on Hebrew literature at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, and is head of the creative writing program there. Adaf has been awarded the Ministry of Education Award (1996), the Prime Minister’s Prize (2007), the Yehuda Amichai Prize for Poetry (2010), the Sapir Prize for his novel Mox Nox (2012) and the Neuman Prize (2017). His last novel, Tolle Legeis shortlisted for the 2017 Sapir Prize.

A Confession

I have no legacy to count on and no
disaster to deliver by hand
to the next generation.
What is so important about how
my father’s eyes are opened in panic at night 
or how his heart was an impossible tool
all the years of my childhood?
Under skies as simple as cheap doggerel
I opened the windows
clear summer air lashed me
like a belt unlooped from pants.
On the sill the blossoms stirred
hibiscuses rose from albino
like a back,
mottled with burns. 

                                Trans. Rebecca McKay

Shimon Adaf

Books in Translation

French: Paris, Caracteres, 2018

Spanish: Mexico City, Trilce,2018

English: Farmington, Alice James Books, 2019


English: New York, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, forthcoming 

Italian: Rome, Atmosphere Libri, 2013
English: Hornsea, PS Publishing, 2013

Back Yard [with Guy Raivitz] (story)
French: Paris, Biro, 2009

Selected Poems
English: Oakville, Ontario, Mosaic Press, 2014 (in: Kaleidoscope: Three Poets from Israel)
Spanish: Mexico City, Trilce, 2013

Art and War: Poetry, Pulp and Politics in Israeli Fiction [with Lavie Tidhar]
English: London, Repeater Books, 2016

English: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, forthcoming 
English: New York, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, forthcoming