Peter Cole


Peter Cole (b. 1957, Paterson, NJ) is the author of five collections of poems, most recently Hymns & Qualms: New and Selected Poems and Translations (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2017).  Among his other recent books are The Poetry of Kabbalah: Mystical Verse from the Jewish Tradition (Yale, 2012)The Dream of the Poem: Hebrew Poetry from Muslim and Christian Spain, 950-1492 (Princeton, 2007), and Sacred Trash: The Lost and Found World of the Cairo Geniza, a book of non-fiction written with Adina Hoffman (Schocken/Nextbook, 2011). He has also translated the work of many modern Hebrew and Arabic writers, most notably Aharon Shabtai, Taha Muhammad Ali, Yoel Hoffmann, and Avraham ben Yitzhak.

Cole, who divides his time between Jerusalem  and New Haven, teaches at Yale University each spring. He has received numerous honors for his work, including fellowships from the NEA, the NEH, and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, as well as the National Jewish Book Award for Poetry, the Association of American Publishers’ Hawkins Award for Book of the Year, the PEN Translation Award for Poetry, the American Library Association’s Brody Medal for the Jewish Book of the Year, and a TLS Translation Prize. Cole 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.

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