Conference at Yale to Focus on Yehuda Amichai

Yale University will host an international conference October 20–21 celebrating Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai (1924–2000).

The conference, “Poetics and Politics in Yehuda Amichai’s World,” is free and open to the public. Sessions will take place in the Whitney Humanities Center auditorium, 53 Wall St.

Amichai is considered one of the great poets of modern times. His books were best sellers in Israel, and he enjoyed the status of a celebrity. His published writings, which include plays, stories, a novel, essays and children’s books as well as several volumes of poetry, have been translated into more than 30 languages.

Benjamin Harshav, the Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature at Yale, will deliver the keynote address, “Political Discourse and Situational Cognition in Amichai’s Poetry,” on October 20 at 8:30 p.m. Harshav, one of Amichai’s chief translators, was also a close friend of the poet’s for 50 years.

Speakers on October 21 will include Robert Alter (University of California, Berkeley), Vered Shemtov (Stanford University), Chana Kronfeld, (UC Berkeley) and Boaz Arpaly, Menakhem Perry, Michael Gluzman and Ziva Ben Porat, all from Tel- Aviv University. Roundtable participants will be William Cutter (Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion), Barbara Harshav (Yale), Geoffrey Hartman (Yale), Barbara Mann (Jewish Theological Seminary) and Leon Wieseltier, The New Republic.  The poet’s wife Hana and his daughter Emanuella will also be present.

Amichai’s extensive personal papers and literary archives are housed in Yale’s Beinecke Library, where they were the first archive of a major writer in Hebrew.

The Amichai conference is sponsored by Yale University Library, the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, the Program in Judaic Studies, the Department of Comparative Literature, the Whitney Humanities Center, the Lucius N. Littauer Foundation and the Edward J. and Dorothy Clarke Kempf Memorial Fund.

For more information, visit the Yale University Library website or contact Nanette Stahl, Judaica curator and conference coordinator, at 203-432-7207.

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Gila Reinstein:, 203-432-1325