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Catalog Archive

America’s Rebel Yiddish Poets
Translated by Amelia Glaser
Introduction by Dovid Katz, with illustrations by Dana Craft

Winner of the Fenia and Yaakov Leviant Memorial Prize in Yiddish Studies for Outstanding Translation and a Choice Outstanding Academic Title

“A useful and significant resource for scholars, students and teachers of Yiddish and American poetry, of Jewish and American history.”
—Kathryn Hellerstein, University of Pennsylvania

This unique anthology translates for the first time a little-known body of Yiddish poetry by American Yiddish proletarian writers who identified with the American Left from the 1920s to the early 1950s. Dovid Katz explains how a McCarthy-era “American Yiddish Political Correctness” wrote these leftist poets out of the canon. Amelia Glaser and David Weintraub correct this erasure, recovering the work of thirty poets. Proletpen introduces the reader to an untold chapter of America’s tumultuous history during the pre- and interwar period, revealing the depth and power of Yiddish literature through the backdrop of twentieth-century world politics.


Amelia Glaser received her Ph.D in comparative literature from Stanford University. Formerly a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard Ukrainian Institute and University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, she is currently a visiting lecturer in Yiddish Language and Literature at Stanford.

David Weintraub is executive director of the Dora Teitelboim Center for Yiddish Culture. The Center is in the forefront of revitalizing and reenergizing the Yiddish language, helping to reveal the rich Yiddish culture and language once so basic to Jewish life.


Additional Resources

Click here to read the first 15 pages of the introduction!




“Amelia Glaser and David Weintraub's anthology of poetry, composed by some of [Yiddish] culture's most talented members, [is an] important contribution to our understanding of a vital moment in American Jewish history.”
—Jeremy A. Dauber, Jerusalem Report

“The poems, . . . with a masterful translation by Amelia Glaser, are a window into the lives of a group of socialist writers who spoke out passionately about everything from racism to the plight of the worker and the grinding poverty they confronted on a daily basis.”
—Jewish Book Council

“A collection of great literary and academic merit, presenting a wide and multi-faceted selection of poets and poems.”
—Dror Abend-David, Bridges: A Jewish Feminist Journal

“Yields unexpected treasures.”
—Julia Wolf Mazow, Lilith Magazine



Book Title

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New in Paperback!
February 2012
LC: 2004025729PJ
428 pp. 6 x 9
20 b/w illus.

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Paper $29.95 S
ISBN 9780299208042
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Published in association with the Dora Teitelboim Center for Yiddish Culture