Wednesday, July 1

The Absolute Reader

The Absolute Reader
by Miri Ben Simhon
translated by Lisa Katz

20pp, paper 

Toad Press, 2020. $5.00 

cover art by Yair Aa

You can purchase a copy of The Absolute Reader here.

Miri Ben Simhon was born in Marseille in 1950 to Moroccan parents on their way to the new state of Israel. Her work, said by one critic to “strike the reader’s heart with wonder and sorrow,” appeared in three books published by mainstream Israeli presses during her lifetime, and one posthumous edition; in 2018 these were gathered into a volume including previously unpublished poems. All of Ben Simhon’s books received critical attention in Israeli newspapers when they were originally published, and a film has been made about her life and work. She died in 1996.

Lisa Katz (b. New York, in Jerusalem since 1983) is a translator of book-length works by Israeli poets Agi Mishol, Admiel Kosman and Tuvia Ruebner. Editor of the Israeli pages of Poetry International Archives, she has served as the the Rotterdam-based site’s interim central editor since 2017. Translator-in-residence at the University of Iowa MFA in Literary Translation in 2017, she taught most recently at Ben Gurion University. Her chapbook Are You With Me is available from Finishing Line Press and her poetry, in Hebrew translation, was published by the Am Oved Press.

Read a poem included in The Absolute Reader, "I have never needed God," in the July/August 2016 issue of Poetry Magazine.

Tune into a short reading and discussion of The Absolute Reader presented by Marcela Sulak for Israel in Translation