Yona Wallach Gofman
10 June 1944
|Died||September 29, 1985(aged 41)|
Yona Wallach was raised in the town of Kiryat Ono (of which her father was a founder) near Tel Aviv. Her father was killed in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War when she was a young child. She died of breast cancer in 1985.
Wallach was active in the "Tel Aviv poets" circle which emerged around the journals Achshav and Siman Kriah in the 1960s, and was a frequent contributor to Israeli literary periodicals. She also wrote for and appeared with an Israeli rock group, and in 1982 her poetry was set to music and a record released. Characterized by "an abundance of nervous energy," Yona Wallach's work combines elements from rock and roll, Jungian psychology and street slang in a body of work known for its break-neck pace and insistent sexuality. Writing in fluid lines, refusing to be limited by any conventional poetic structures, Wallach took upon herself the feminine revolution in Hebrew poetry. Presenting a provocative, blatantly sexual female figure, she became a stylistic model for many women poets.
She was proud of her bisexuality. Wallach also wrote lyrics for, and performed with, Israeli rock bands. Her book, Island Songs, was published in 1969. In her poem Yonatan, she portrays herself as a young boy, Yonatan, who is decapitated by other boys who thirst for his blood.
Books in Hebrew
- Things, Achshav, 1966 [Devarim]
- Two Gardens, Daga, 1969 [Shnei Ganim]
- Collected Poems, Siman Kriah, 1976 [Shirim]
- Wild Light, Echut, 1983 [Or Pere]
- Forms, Hakibbutz Hameuchad/Siman Kriah, 1985 [Tzurot]
- Appearance, Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1985 [Mofah]
- Selected Poems 1963–1985, Hakibbutz Hameuchad/Siman Kriah, 1992
Books in translation
- Selected Poems, English: New York, Sheep Meadow, 1997
- Individual poems have been published in: Arabic, Chinese, Czech, Dutch, English, Esperanto, Estonian, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Yiddish.
- Hebrew literature
- Ada Aharoni
- Karen Alkalay-Gut
- Raquel Chalfi
- Hava Pinchas-Cohen
- Janice Rebibo
- Naomi Shemer
- Zelda (poet)