Hebrew Poetry of Muslim Spain is Topic of 2019 Carleton Forkosh Family Judaic Studies Lecture

February 12, 2019
By Leander Cohen '22

Poet and Hebrew translator Peter Cole will present Carleton’s 2019 Forkosh Family Lecture in Judaic Studies on Monday, Feb. 18, from 8-9 p.m. in Leighton Hall Room 304. In his talk, “Back to the Future of al-Andalus: A Poetry Reading and Conversation,” Cole will read from his work and discuss both the origins and legacy of Hebrew poetry in Muslim Spain.

Cole’s work as a poet and a translator reflects his deep-seated connection to both Jewish-American and Israeli culture. Literary critic Harold Bloom has written that Cole is “one of the handful of authentic poets of his own American generation,” and fellow writer and translator Eliot Weinberger has called him “an urban poet whose city is Jerusalem.”

Cole’s most recent book is 2017’s Hymns & Qualms: New and Selected Poems and Translations, which follows 2014’s The Invention of Influence, a finalist for the Poetry Society of America’s William Carlos Williams Award. His other works include English translations of Hebrew and Arabic poetry and a volume of non-fiction  titled , Sacred Trash: The Lost and Found World of the Cairo Geniza. 

Cole has received numerous honors for his work, including fellowships from the National Education Association (NEA), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and the Guggenheim Foundation. He also is the recipient of the National Jewish Book Award for Poetry and the PEN Translation for Poetry. In 2007, he was awarded a genius grant from the MacArthur Foundation.

 This event is sponsored by the Carleton College Department of Judaic Studies, with support from the Forkosh Family Lecture Series. For more information, including disability accommodations, call (507) 222-7033. Leighton Hall is located off College Street on the Carleton campus, and is also accessible via Highway 19 in Northfield.