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Performance Central presents
2011 Princeton Poetry Festival
Agi Mishol

Agi Mishol (1946 - ) is one of Israel' s most acclaimed poets. In her poems she  treats the minutae of  mundane life with a unique combination of rueful amusement and subtle spirituality. She imbues her inherently orphic voice with crisp practicality, honestly exploring mind and body, love, pleasure, dreams, daily chores and loneliness. As a farmer she sharply and sympathetically observes Israeli fauna and flora, always aware of the ongoing interaction between them and a society which controls and often destroys them. She does not shy from candidly dealing with Middle Eastern politics as it affects people on both sides of the conflict. She is startlingly imaginative without ever being exotic; a moralist who is never strident and didactic.

Her latest volume of poems, House Call, following on a dozen earlier ones, was published in Israel in summer of 2009; the title poem deals at length with her experience as the daughter of Holocaust survivors.

Mishol was born in Transylvania, Romania, to Hungarian-speaking parents and brought to Israel as a very young child. She is the winner of every major Israeli poetry prize, including the first Yehuda Amichai Prize in 2002, and the Dolitsky Prize in 2007.

A collection of her work in English, Look There (translated by Lisa Katz, Graywolf Press) was published in 2006; books of her poetry have also been published in France (Journal du verger- Caracteres, translated by Emmanuel Moses, 2008)  and Romania (Seherezada - Institutul cultural Roman, translated by Loana Leronim and Riri Manor  2008). A Hungarian volume is forthcoming.

Mishol holds BA and MA degrees in Hebrew literature from Hebrew University. She has taught poetry workshops at every major Israeli university, and literature at the Alma College in Tel Aviv.  Mishol lives on a pomegranate, peach and pecan farm near Gedera.

Agi Mishol

Photo by Iris Nesher

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