Ariel Zinder was born in 1973 in Berkeley, California, where his Israeli father was completing a doctorate. Both his parents were raised in English-speaking environments, and so Zinder, an Israeli who has lived in Israel since the age of three, who grew up in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and writes his poetry in Hebrew, is bilingual. He lives in Jerusalem, is one of the founders of the Ketovet Group, and has been publishing poems and poetry translations since 1999. A teacher of literature and creative writing for youth and adults, Zinder is a postgraduate student in literary studies, specialising in medieval Hebrew poetry. He has been awarded the Israeli education ministry’s prize for young poets, and the Ruth Negev award for his first book.
Zinder’s lyricism yokes Jewish texts, narratives, concepts and holidays to contemporary lives. Both the Tower of Babel and the Jewish celebration of the start of each lunar month are linked to lovers; the act of a child awakening from a nightmare to face the reality of a grown-up party in his home is compared, via an epigraph, to the presumed dichotomy between higher powers and the body. It is not clear whether so-called religious poetry – that is, poetry which employs religious imagery – is any more about religion, or spirituality, than other types of poetry (which, after all, often examine common issues of life and death). What is clear, however, is that Zinder’s knowledge of Jewish sources supplies him with a vast number of image systems through which to view our (extra)ordinary lives.
Books in Hebrew
The Ships of Tarshish, Carmel Publishing, Jerusalem, 2007
Ketovet: An Anthology of Poetry and Prose, Even Hoshen Press, Ra'anana, 2008
From Shakespeare with Love: Selected Sonnets (a bilingual presentation, illustrated by Michel Kichka), D.K. GraubArt, Jerusalem, 2000
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