A DOVE /AGI MISHOL
“Agi Mishol’s poems know how to tell a tale, to sing a song and also dance—all at one and the same time. I love the splendid surprises in them, the subtle and exact sadness, and the mysterious manner by which she makes this sadness overflow with a hidden joy. Agi Mishol is a wonderful poet.”—Amoz Oz
"Agi Mishol, one of the most popular poets of Israel, captures the imagination and the heart of Israeli readers by observing common daily realities through a contemplative, sometimes meditative, perspective, negotiating the space between the mundane and the spiritual with a lively sense of humor. Having overcome such dissociations of sensibility, Mishol’s poems are flushed with a flow of vitality and freshness. With no undue emphasis, eschewing declarative pronouncements, the poet points to the important truths looming behind the veil of the trivial. Avoiding opacity and heaviness of any kind her carefully chosen words, semantically loaded to the brim, also throb with reined-in musicality and elan. Her current selection of poems … translated by Joanna Chen, represents the latest phase in the development of the poet’s work, now in full ripeness."—Prof. Dan Miron, Columbia University, New York
GARDEN /MEIR SHALEV
A colorfully illustrated round of the season in the garden of the best-selling novelist, memoirist, and champion putterer with a wheelbarrow
On the perimeter of Israel’s Jezreel Valley, with the Carmel mountains rising up in the west, Meir Shalev has a beloved garden, “neither neatly organized nor well kept,” as he cheerfully explains. Often covered in mud and scrapes, Shalev cultivates both nomadic plants and “house dwellers,” using his own quirky techniques. He extolls the virtues of the lemon tree, rescues a precious variety of purple snapdragon from the Jerusalem–Tel Aviv highway, and does battle with a saboteur mole rat. He even gives us his superior private recipe for curing olives.
"Yonatan Berg's first collection of poems to appear in English is Frayed Light, translated by Joanna Chen. Drawing from Berg's three Hebrew books of poetry, Frayed Light offers more than just English renditions of the poems. This unique selection tells the story of Berg's development as a poet. As the book moves from reflections on personal experience to imagining the lives of others, we witness the maturing poet turning his gaze outwards, away from himself, as he is drawn backwards, into history."—Lonnie Monka, The Tel Aviv Review of Books
"Frayed Light offers readers both a poetic journey and new ways in which to think about the tension between innocence and experience, while enacting what it means to hold one's deepest beliefs up to an inquiring light. Poets must work within the limits of language, yet one senses in these poems that what Berg is seeking in his explorations is a bridge, an intimacy that will overcome barriers of language, religion, and otherness itself."—Janice Weizman, World Literature Today