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poem in transition – translation as rebirth

klasse in wien; für sfd- und sprachkunst-students
30. mai bis 1. juni 2012; unterrichtssprache: englisch

klasse analog poem in transition – translation as rebirth
/ amir or (isr)

- unterrichtssprache: englisch (hebräisch-kenntnisse sind NICHT erforderlich) -

type: translation and editing workshop

materials: working on hebrew poems via english literals

duration: 4 meetings (ca. 10 hours) plus class presentation

workshop programme:

-       general introduction to hebrew language and poetry.

-       discussion of translation methods and considerations, creativity and 'loyalty', translation as an editorial art, cultural equivalents and substitutes, etc.

-       working on translation kit (literals include meaning and use, phonetics, linguistic, metric and cultural aspects). students work individually and in groups on the same poems, discussing specific translation solutions and different ways to treat the text.

-       reading, feedback and further work on text.

-       (if time allows) presentation of the helicon poetry school method.

-       presentation of workshop results on stage.


reading list:

1.  read article on ancient hebrew poetry
more reading on the subject:  t. witton / hebrew poetry
medieval jewish piyyut

2.  read nathan alterman, avraham ben yizchak and chayim n. byalik, yona wallach and nathan zach in the poets from israel section of poetry international web

3.  read and listen to: chedva harechawi, amir or, yael globerman and ronny someck at the hebrew poetry section of lyrikline

4.  feel free to look up more poets sites 2 and 3. this will give you a larger scope on modern hebrew poetry. more recommendations: dan pagis, hayim gouri, meir wizeltir, nurit zarchi, agi mishol, admiel kosman, shimon adaf.


wed, may 30:
10.00 – 13.00
14.30 – 16.30

thu, may 31:
14.30 – 17.30

fri, june 1:
10.00 – 12.00
venue: österreichische gesellschaft für literatur, herrengasse 5, 1010 wien

class presentation:
fr, 1. juni, 20.00 
venue: orf-kulturcafé, argentinierstr. 30a, 1040 wien

teaching language:
conditions of participation: good knowledge of english (no knowledge of hebrew required)
participation fee: 130,- €

>> application form (pdf)
>> anmeldeformular


the class is organised by sfd in association with the institute of language arts/university of applied arts vienna (institut für sprachkunst) and the austrian society of literature (österreichische gesellschaft für literatur). students of the sfd and of the institute of language arts will participate (the class is part of their degree programme).

amir or

born 1956, tel aviv

studied philosophy and comparative religion at the hebrew university in jerusalem and later on lectured there on ancient greek religion. taught poetry and gave creative writing workshops at helicon poetry school as well as at universities in israel, japan, the u.s. and europe. he is the author of 10 volumes of poetry. his poems have been translated into more than 40 languages and published in anthologies, poetry journals and books in europe and the u.s. he has published numerous essays on poetry, classic studies, and comparative religion. currently or serves as national editor of atlas international poetry magazine.

in 1990 co-founded helicon poetry society and later on served as helicon's chief editor and artistic director. amir or is a founding member of the wpm (world poetry movement, founded in 2011 in medellín, columbia) in which he serves as regional coordinator.

publications (a. o.):
in hebrew:
the museum of time (2007),  heart beast (2010)
in english
poem (dedalus 2004), day (dedalus 2006), plates from the museum of time (artaark 2009), miracle/the hours (urpi editores 2011, bilingual)
translated into hebrew prose and poetry books, among them:
limb loosening desire (an anthology of erotic greek poetry)

awards (a. o.):
2000 recipient of the pleiades honor for having made "a significant contribution to modern world poetry". the bernstein prize, the fulbright award for writers, the levi eshkol prime minister’s poetry prize, fellowships of iowa university, the centre of jewish studies oxford, literarisches colloquium berlin.