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Meir Wieseltier

Poet Meir Wieseltier was born in 1941 in Moscow, Russia, and came to Israel in 1949 as a child, after spending two years in Poland, Germany and France. He grew up in a kibbutz and in Natanya, and moved to Tel Aviv at age of 14. He studied philosophy, history and English at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and later lived for several years in London and Paris. In the 1960s Wieseltier was the central figure in a group of artists known as "the Tel Aviv poets" and he edited a number of literary magazines. He was also co-founder of the literary magazine Siman Kriah, and from 1986 to 1989 he was the poetry editor at Am Oved Publishing House. For a number of years he taught literature at the University of Haifa and is now Professor Emeritus. Wieseltier has translated English, French and Russian poetry into Hebrew, as well as seven of Shakespeare's tragedies, two plays by Christopher Marlowe and novels by Virginia Woolf, Charles Dickens, E.M. Forster, Aldous Huxley, Malcolm Lowry and others. He received the Prime Minister's Prize three times (1977; 1993; 2011), the Elite Jubilee Prize (1984), the Bialik Prize (1995), the Israel Prize for Literature (2000) the L'Olio della Poesia Prize (Italy, 2004) and the Neuman Prize (2015). His poems have been published abroad in some 20 languages. 
Wieseltier has consistently taken a nonconformist literary stance. His passion for Tel Aviv plays an important role in his writing and expresses itself in a love-hate relationship. He often uses ironic imagery and a sarcastic, despairing tone to demand complete awareness of life's unavoidably painful realities, and urges full emotional and philosophical involvement. Wieseltier places himself at the heart of his work, often writing in the first person, and takes on the role of moralist, searching for values in the midst of chaos. For Wieseltier, poetry is both oppressive ("a lust for lies") and life-giving: inherently futile, it is, nonetheless, the alternative to surrender and mediocrity.

Books Published in Hebrew 
A Walk in Iona, Kiltartan, 1963; new.ed. Even Hoshen, 1996 [Tiyul Be-Ayona]
Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Achshav, 1967 [Perek Alef Perek Beit]
100 Poems, Gog, 1969 [Me'a Shirim]
Take It, Siman Kriah/ University Publishing Projects, 1973 [Kach: Sirim 1969-1972]
Something Optimistic, The Making of a Poems, Siman Kriah/ University Publishing Projects, 1976; new ed. Zmora-Bitan, 1984; Hakibbutz Hameuchad/ Siman Kriah, 2000; ext. ed. Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 2012 [Davar Optimi, Asiyat Shirim]
Interior and Exterior, Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1977 [Pnim Va-Chutz]
Exit into the Sea, Siman Kriah/ Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1981; Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 2014 [Motza El Ha-Yam]
The Concise Sixties, Siman Kriah/ Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1984 [Kitzur Shnot Ha-Shishim: Shirim 1959-1972]
Greek Island, Hakibbutz Hameuchad/ Siman Kriah, 1985 [Ee Yevani: Shirim Ve-Tatzlumim]
Letters & Other Poems, Am Oved, 1986 [Michtavim Ve-Shirim Acherim]
Storage, Hakibbutz Hameuchad/ Siman Kriah, 1994 [Machsan]
Slow Poems: 1995-1999, Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 2000 [Shirim Itiyim: 1995-1999]
Merudim and Sonnets, Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 2009 [Merudim Ve-Sonetot: Shirim Le-Et Metzo]
Forty: Poems 1980-1985, Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 2010 [Arba'im: Shirim 1980-1985]

Collected Poems: vol. 1: 1959-1969, Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 2016 [Michlol Shirim: Kerech 1: 1959-1969]
Collected Poems: vol. 2: 1969-1980, Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 2016 [Michlol Shirim: Kerech 2: 1969-1980]

Fractures of Poems Facing Yampa, Gog, 2016, [Shivrei Shir Mul Yampa]

Collected Poems: vol. 3: 1980-2009, Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 2017 [Michlol Shirim: Kerech 3: 1980-2009]

Books in Translation
Selected Poems
English: Berkeley, Univ, of California Press, 2003
Italian: Genoa, San Marco dei Giustiniani, 2003

Meir Wieseltier

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