translated from the Yiddish by Faith Jones, Jennifer Kronovet and Samuel Solomon
Celia Dropkin was born Zipporah Levine in Bobruisk, White Russia in 1888. She began writing as an adolescent in Russian, and, while studying in Kiev, received encouragement from the Hebrew novelist U.N. Gnessin. With socialist Shmaye Dropkin, whom she married in 1909, she moved to New York and began writing in Yiddish. She had six children, five of whom survived, and died in 1956. In her lifetime, she published many stories and poems in Yiddish journals, and one collection of poems, In Heysn Vint (In the Hot Wind). Her singular contribution to Yiddish literature was the introduction of a bold literary discourse of sexuality. Her pastoral poetry is equally marked by ecstatic, despairing, and even grotesque elements.
Faith Jones is a librarian in Vancouver, Canada, and a graduate student investigating Yiddish print culture in Winnipeg. Her writing has appeared in Canadian Jewish Studies, The Journal of Modern Jewish Studies, Publishing Research Quarterly, The Forward, and Bridges: a Jewish Feminist Journal, where she also served as Yiddish editor.
Jennifer Kronovet is the author of the poetry collection Awayward (BOA Editions, 2009). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in the Boston Review, Fence, The Nation, Ploughshares, A Public Space, and elsewhere. She is currently Writer-in-Residence at Washington University in St. Louis.
Samuel Solomon is a PhD candidate in Comparative Literature at the University of Southern California. His dissertation reads 1970s innovative British lyric in relation to socialist-feminist organizing and ideologies and practices of literary education.