Reuven Ben-Yosef

Reuven Ben-Yosef (1937 - 2001), the son of Joseph and Cecilia Reiss, was born in New York City on May 31, 1937 as Robert Eliot Reiss. His childhood was spent in Manhattan, where he attended P.S. 187 and later, the High School of Music and Art, where he became a professional jazz musician. He went on to complete his secondary education at Westwood High School in New Jersey and attended Oberlin College in Ohio before serving in the U.S. Army in Heilbronn, Germany. During 1957-59 he published poetry in American literary magazines and The New York Times. Before he left America to emigrate to Israel he published his first book of poetry, the last he wrote in English, The Endless Seed. During the Yom Kippur War he was with the first military units to launch the counteroffensive in the southern sector of the Golan Heights and was on front-line duty for 145 days. In the summer of 1976 he moved to Jerusalem. He supported his family by translating and teaching creative writing to high-school students. When the Lebanon War broke out in 1982, he was again called to duty and sent to the front for 41 days. In 1996 he started a small publishing house called Sifre Bitzaron. He died of lung cancer on March 9, 2001. He left his brother James Reiss, his sister Lucinda Luvaas, his wife, Yehudit, three children and seven grandchildren. He wrote 19 books of Hebrew poetry, two novels, two books of essays, and a writer’s diary. After his death his wife published a book, In Memory of Reuven Ben-Yosef, which included critical articles by his colleagues (2002).

Twice awarded The Jewish Book Council of America (1969, 1975); Moznaim Prize (1978); N.Y.U. Neuman Prize (1979); Peter Shiprert Prize (1982); Bar-Ilan University Prize (1986); Keren Hayasod Prize (1990); Prime Minister Levi Eshcol Prize (1996-97).

Poems, stories, essays in periodicals: Molad, Moznaim, Amot, Apirion, 77, Bitzaron, Mibifnim, Maariv, Yediot, Haaretz. Davar, Al-Hamishmar, Ariel, Nativ, Psifas, Afikim and others and in the United States literary magazines such as Midstream, which recently published an article by the poet Esther Cameron and some of his poems translated into English.

Poems and Articles translated into: English, French, Spanish, Italian, Arabic, Hungarian, and German.


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