Karen Alkalay-Gut

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Karen Alkalay-Gut
Karen Alkalay-Gut.jpg
Born29 March 1945
London, UK
Occupationpoet, professor, and editor
Alma materUniversity of Rochester

Karen Alkalay-Gut (Hebrew: קרן אלקלעי-גוט‎; born 29 March 1945) is an award-winning poet, professor, and editor who lives in Israel and writes in English.

Personal life[edit]

Born in London on the last night of the Blitz buzz bombs, Alkalay-Gut moved with her parents and brother Joseph Rosenstein to Rochester, New York in 1948. She graduated from the University of Rochester, with a BA with honors, and an MA in English literature in 1967. From 1967–70 she taught at the State University of New York at Geneseo before returning to complete her doctorate. In 1972 she moved to Israel and began teaching at the Ben Gurion University of the Negev (1972–76). In 1977 she moved to Tel Aviv University, where she continued to teach.[1] She is married to Ezra Gut and does not number her children and grandchildren because it gives too much information to the evil eye.


In 1980 her first collection, Making Love: Poems appeared with the aid and editorial assistance of poet David Avidan, and she has published over twenty books since. Her poetry has also appeared in Hebrew, French, Arabic, Yiddish, Rumanian, Polish, Russian, German, Turkish, Persian and Italian.[2] Her concern with multimedia has brought about collaborations with fashion houses such as Comme il faut, as well as sculpture, graffiti, ceremonies. Her translations of Hebrew poetry such Yehuda Amichai and Rony Sommek have numbered in the hundreds.

As a critic, Alkalay-Gut is the author of a biography of Adelaide Crapsey as well as numerous articles on Victorian and contemporary literature. She has participated in numerous anthologies, encyclopedias and edited volumes. She has also translated poetry and drama from Hebrew and other languages, including Yehuda Amichai, Raquel Chalfi, and Hanoch Levin. In 1980 Alkalay-Gut helped found the Israel Association of Writers in English, and functioned as chair from 1995-2015. She returned to chair in 2018. She also served as vice-chair of the Federation of Writers' Unions, and as an editor of the Jerusalem Review.

Alkalay-Gut has appeared in venues such as the Library of Congress and Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., the U.N. and the Yale Club in New York, The Einav Center, Beit Avihai, the Willy Brandt Center, Mishkenot Shaananim and the Writers House in Israel, as well as many universities, churches, synagogues and nightclub around the world.

In 2019 she was awarded the Leib Rubinlicht award for her contribution to Yiddish Literature. In 2018 she was listed by the Jewish Agency as number 24 of one hundred Jews who moved from Britain to help shape the modern state of Israel.[3] Among her previous awards are the Jewish Agency Award in 1994, and first in the BBC World Service Poetry Award (1990).[4]



Books in English

  • Making Love: Poems. Tel Aviv: Achshav, 1980
  • Mechitza. New York: Cross-Cultural Communications, 1986
  • Ignorant Armies. Tel Aviv: Tentative Press, 1992
  • Between Bombardments. Tel Aviv: Tentative Press, 1992
  • Love Soup. Tel Aviv: Tentative Press, 1992
  • High School Girls. Tel Aviv: Tentative Press, 1992
  • Recipes. Tel Aviv: Golan, 1994 Harmonies/ Disharmonies. Etc. Editions, 1994
  • Ignorant Armies. New York: Cross Cultural Communications, 1994
  • Life in Israel—November 1995–1996. Whistle Press, 1997.
  • In My Skin, Sivan, 2000.
  • So Far So Good. Boulevard, 2004.
  • Danza del ventre a tel aviv. Kololbris, 2010.
  • Layers. Simple Conundrums, 2012.
  • Avra Cadivra. Amazon, 2013.
  • Hanging Around the House. Simple Conundrums, 2017.
  • A Word in Edgewise. Simple Conundrums, 2020

Books in Hebrew:

  • Pislei Chema. Kibbutx Hameuchad. 1983.
  • Butter Sculptures (Hebrew). Tel Aviv: Ha kibbutz Hameuchad, 1983.
  • Ata, Ani, veod Shirei Milchama. Kibbutx Hameuchad, 1989.
  • HaAltivi Behayei Yomyom.. Gvanim, 1990.
  • I/Thou and Other War Poems. Tel Aviv: Hakibbutz Hameuchad,1994
  • Paranormal Poems. Gvanim, 1997
  • Ahavat Begadim ve Erom. Kibbutz Hameuchad, 1999.
  • Ta'avot Shuliot. Kibbutz Hameuchad, 2004.
  • Shomrei Neurei. Keshev, 2011.
  • Nisim vechulei. Keshev, 2012.
  • Drachim le'ehov Keshev, 2018.

Books in Yiddish:

  • Yerusha. Beit Leyvick, 2018.[5]

Book in Italian:

  • Danza del ventre a Tev Aviv, Kolibris, 2010.

Book in French

  • Survivre a son histoire, Corlevour, 2020.


  • The Paranormal in Our Daily Lives. Poems: Karen Alkalay-Gut; Piano: Liz Magne; Recording, Mix – Ziv Yonatan. 1999.
  • Thin Lips – Thin Lips. Poems: Karen Alkalay-Gut; Piano: Roy Yarkoni; Bass: Yishai Sommer. Pookh Records, 2004.
  • Panic Ensemble – Love Soup. A DVD release, 2008.
  • Panic Ensemble – Jewish Women. Earsay Records, 2008
  • Panic Ensemble – Panic Ensemble, Earsay Records, 2008.
  • Panic Ensemble – A Different Story, Nana Disc LTD, 2012.
  • Danza del ventre a Tel Aviv [Belly Dancing in Tel Aviv]: Poesie d'amore e sopravivenza [Poems of Love and Survival] [Unabridged] [Audible Audio Edition], Quondom,2012.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "WVFC Poetry Friday: Karen Alkalay-Gut". Elizabeth Willse: Surrounded by Books. 29 May 2009. Retrieved 12 February 2010.
  2. ^ "Welcome to Wise Women's Web - Karen Alkalay Gut". tellurian.net. Archived from the original on 14 May 2008. Retrieved 12 February 2010.
  3. ^ Chrome, Ben (2 November 2017). "The Aliyah 100 List". jewishnews.timesofisrael.com. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  4. ^ Europa Publications (2003). International Who's Who in Poetry 2004. Taylor & Francis. p. 7. ISBN 9781857431780. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  5. ^ "הרשות הלאומית לתרבות היידיש - ספר שירים דו-לשוני חדש: "ירושה" מאת קרן אלקלעי-גוט" [A new bilingual book of poems: "Inheritance" by Karen Alkalay-Gut]. www.yiddish-rashutleumit.co.il (in Hebrew). 25 February 2018. Retrieved 2 November 2018.

External links[edit]