Yona Wallach

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Yona Wallach
Yona Wallach Gofman

10 June 1944
DiedSeptember 29, 1985(1985-09-29) (aged 41)
The Wallach family 1945, from right to left: Nira, Michael, Esther, Yona

Yona Wallach (Hebrew: יונה וולך‎; June 10, 1944 – September 29, 1985) was an Israeli poet. Her surname also appears as Volach.


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.

Literary career[edit]

Yona Wallach sculpture garden, Kiryat Ono

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.[1] 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[edit]

  • 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[edit]

  • 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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Boellstorff, Tom; William Leap (2003). Speaking in Queer Tongues: Globalization and Gay Language. University of Illinois Press. ISBN 0-252-07142-5.