Proletpen: America’s Rebel Yiddish Poets, Edited by Amelia Glaser, David Weintraub, and Yankl Salant
Translated by Amelia Glaser and David Weintraub
Introduction by Dovid Katz with illustrations by Dana Craft
Winner of the Fenia and Yaakov Leviant Memorial Prize in
Yiddish Studies for Outstanding Translation
This anthology presents a rich but little-known body of American Yiddish poetry from the 1920s to the early 1950s by thirty-nine poets who wrote from the perspective of the proletarian left.
Presented on facing pages in Yiddish and English translation, these one hundred poems are organized thematically under such headings as Songs of the Shop, United in Struggle, Matters of the Heart, The Poet on Poetry, and Wars to End All Wars. One section is devoted to verse depicting the struggles of African Americans, including several poems prompted by the infamous Scottsboro trial of nine African American men falsely accused of rape. Home to many of the writers, New York City is the subject of a varied array of poems. The volume includes an extensive introduction by Dovid Katz, a biographical note about each poet, a bibliography, and a timeline of political, social, and literary events that provide context for the poetry.
University of Wisconsin Press, 2005