A New Translation from White Goat Press—Warsaw Stories by Hersh Dovid Nomberg, Translated by Daniel Kennedy
A Focus On Celia Dropkin
This December, we’re featuring items from our collections that center on the Yiddish poet Celia Dropkin, who was born in Bobruisk, White Russia, on December 5, 1887. Dropkin was known for her “fierce and uncompromising” writing about themes such as motherhood, desire, and love—and she was also an accomplished artist. Here we highlight a Pakn Treger article by Dropkin translator Faith Jones, a classic "From the Vault" piece about Dropkin's paintings, and an oral history clip of Dropkin's daughter-in-law discussing what makes her mother-in-law's poetic voice "one worth hearing."
Handpicked Zeke Levine
Zeke Levine is a doctoral student in musicology at New York University, with a research focus on Yiddish music in mid-20th century America. Zeke was a 2017–2018 Yiddish Book Center fellow and is currently a Yiddish Book Center Translation Fellow, where he is translating a collection of short stories, poems, and plays from the radical humorist Sam Liptzin.
Zingen mir far sholem
Sam Liptzin was a radical humorist who, from the 1920s to the late 1960s, published 28 volumes of short stories and poetry. These works dealt with themes ranging from unions and labor protests, to the Civil Rights Movement, to vacations, to annoying neighbors, to a whole range of other topics speaking to the life of politically engaged, Yiddish-speaking Americans in the 20th century. In 1965, he compiled a songbook called Zingen mir far sholem (We Sing for Peace), which included Yiddish songs from Europe and America, as well as several English-language songs. The second edition, published in 1974, includes songs featured in the 1965 version as well as many Sam Liptzin originals.
"But is it Klezmer? Rock, Jazz, Punk, Hip-hop, and Techno Bring New Sounds to the Jewish Mix"
Music writer and Yidstock producer Seth Rogovoy, in this 2011 issue of Pakn Treger, discusses klezmer in the 20th and 21st centuries, tracing the development of the word “klezmer” throughout the 20th century to explore what the term really means. (Spoiler) He suggests that, “The final irony is that it’s not much of a stretch, if something of a quibble, to say that there is no such thing as ‘klezmer music’ at all.”