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Natan Zach

(1930 - )

Natan Zach was born in Berlin, Germany, and immigrated to Haifa as a child. From 1968 to 1979 he lived in England and completed his PhD at the University of Essex. After returning to Israel, he lectured at Tel Aviv University and was appointed professor at Haifa University. He has been chairman of the repertoire board of both the Ohel and Cameri theaters.

As an editor, critic, translator and poet Zach has had a great influence on the development of modern Hebrew poetry. He was the leader of a group of poets who began to publish after Israel's establishment. Together they rebelled against the previous generation and changed the face of poetry in the 1950s and 1960s. He was awarded the Bialik and Israel Prizes and the Feronia Prize (Rome).

Zach's search for a nonsymbolic, explicit poetic language was a conscious break with tradition. Guided by his desire for openness and experimentation, Zach avoids sentimentality and ideological modes in favor of bare emotions and brevity of expression. He rejects lyrical, formalized language, employing a colloquial vocabulary and an ironic and anti-romantic tone. Internationally acclaimed, Zach has been called "the most articulate and insistent spokesman of the modernist movement in Hebrew poetry."

Sources: Copyright The Institute for the Translation of Hebrew Literature. Reprinted by kind permission of The Institute for the Translation of Hebrew Literature, Ramat Gan Israel. The Institute web site contains biographies of 300 Israeli authors.