Peter Cole

Peter Cole’s most recent book of poems is The Invention of Influence, which follows his remarkable collection Things on Which I’ve Stumbled. His previous volumes—Rift and Hymns & Qualms—were collected as What Is Doubled: Poems, 1981–1998. In addition to his ND books with Aharon Shabtai and Yoel Hoffmann, Cole’s translations from Hebrew and Arabic include The Dream of the Poem: Hebrew Poetry from Muslim and Christian Spain, 950–1492, Taha Muhammad Ali’s So What: New & Selected Poems 1973–2005, Avraham Ben Yitzhak’s Collected Poems, and The Poetry of Kabbalah: Mystical Verse from the Jewish Tradition (forthcoming). With Adina Hoffman, he is the author of a volume of non-fiction, Sacred Trash: The Lost and Found World of the Cairo Geniza. Cole has received numerous honors for his work, including fellowships from the NEA, the NEH, and the Guggenheim Foundation, as well as the National Jewish Book Award for Poetry and the PEN Translation Award for Poetry. He is the recipient of a 2010 Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and in 2007 was named a MacArthur Fellow. He divides his time between Jerusalem and New Haven, Connecticut.

The Invention of Influence

Poetry by Peter Cole

With a contribution by Harold Bloom

Peter Cole has been called “an inspired writer” (The Nation) and “one of the handful of authentic poets of his own American generation” (Harold Bloom). In this, his fourth book of poems, he presents a ramifying vision of human linkage. At the heart of the collection stands the stunning title poem, which brings us into the world of Victor Tausk, a maverick and tragic early disciple of Freud who wrote about one of his patients’ mental inventions — an “influence machine” that controlled his thoughts.…
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Things On Which I’ve Stumbled

Poetry by Peter Cole

In Peter Cole’s remarkable book, Things on Which I’ve Stumbled, the forces and sources that have long driven his work come together in singular fashion. Plumbing the past as it soars in the present, the collection rides a variable music that takes it from an archeology of mysterious poetic fragments unearthed in a medieval Egyptian synagogue to lyrics suffused with a “normal mysticism” and poignant political commentary on the blighted hills surrounding modern Jerusalem.…
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Moods

Fiction by Yoel Hoffmann

Translated from the Hebrew by Peter Cole

Part novel and part memoir, Yoel Hoffmann’s Moods is flooded with feelings, evoked by his family, losses, loves, the soul’s hidden powers, old phone books, and life in the Galilee—with its every scent, breeze, notable dog, and odd neighbor. Carrying these shards is a general tenderness accentuated by a new dimension brought along with “that great big pill of Prozac.” Beautifully translated by Peter Cole, Moods is fiction for lovers of poetry and poetry for lovers of fiction—a small marvel of a book, and with its pockets of joy, a curiously cheerful book by an author who once compared himself to “a praying mantis inclined to melancholy.…
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War & Love, Love & War

Poetry by Aharon Shabtai

Translated from the Hebrew by Peter Cole

War & Love, Love & War presents a poetic biography of one of Israel’s living literary masters, an artist whom the National Book Award-winner C. K. Williams has called “one of the most exciting poets writing anywhere, and certainly the most audacious.” The book moves from shockingly potent political poems to love lyrics that are as explosive and sometimes bawdy as they are tender; from early and stirring inventories of kibbutz life to a radically inventive midrash on (and paean to) the career and character of the Israeli right-wing leader Menachem Begin; from passion for justice to passion for a deeply mourned wife.…
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Curriculum Vitae

Poetry by Yoel Hoffmann

Translated by Peter Cole

Yoel Hoffmann’s Curriculum Vitae is the remarkable summation of the writer’s life: his escape from the Holocaust; his arrival in Palestine; time in an orphanage; youth; two marriages; fatherhood; his studies of Japanese Buddhism; his travels; his ever-busy inner life. Curriculum Vitae begins quietly but becomes more and more hypnotic and amazing. Funny, gorgeous and utterly unique, Curriculum Vitae is Yoel Hoffmann’s triumphant look backward and inward: How stupid we are to let the world toss us from one place to another, while we need to speak to dentists and poets like warehouse clerks who keep an account of old equipment (bags here and belts there) and pile it up on the floor.…
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The Heart is Katmandu

Fiction by Yoel Hoffmann

Translated by Peter Cole

The Heart Is Katmandu tells a tale of new love—of paradise gained. Set in today’s Haifa and presented in 237 dream-like small chapters, it is a book in which shyness and stumbling tenderness emerge triumphant. Poet Peter Cole has made a beautiful translation, capturing Hoffmann’s intense and unfathomably original style. A starred Kirkus Review acclaimed the novel “Beautiful, humane, priceless.”
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The Shunra and the Schmetterling

Fiction by Yoel Hoffmann

Translated by Peter Cole

Edited by Adam Phillips

Shunra is Aramaic for “cat.” Schmetterling is German for “butterfly.” In Yoel Hoffmann’s new book, these and numerous other creatures, cultures, and languages meet in a magical shimmering hymn to childhood. Hoffmann traces his hero’s developing consciousness of the ways-and-wonders of the world as though he were peering through a tremendous kaleidoscope: all that was perceived, all that is remembered, is rendered in fluid fragments of color and light. With remarkable delicacy and sweep, Hoffmann captures childhood from the amazed inside out, and without the backward-looking wash of grown-up sentiment.…
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J’accuse

Poetry by Aharon Shabtai

Translated by Peter Cole

Playing on Zola’s famous letter denouncing the anti-Semitism of the French government throughout the Dreyfus affair, Aharon Shabtai’s title can be taken literally: it charges his government and his people with crimes against the humanity of their neighbors. Here we find snipers shooting children, spin-masters trying to whitewash blood baths, ammunition “distributed like bars of chocolate,” and “technicians of slaughter” for whom morality is merely “a pain in the ass.” With a splendid lyrical physicality that accentuates Shabtai’s terse immediacy and matter-of-fact scorn, the poems cover a period of six years – from the 1996 election of Netanyahu as prime minister through the curfews, lynchings, riots, sieges, and bombings of the second intifada.…
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