Short Bio Note
Born in Paterson, New Jersey, in 1957, Peter Cole is the author of five books of poems—most recently Hymns & Qualms: New and Selected Poems and Translations (FSG, 2017)—and many volumes of translation from Hebrew and Arabic, medieval and modern. Praised for his “prosodic mastery” and “keen moral intelligence” (The American Poet), and for the “rigor, vigor, joy, and wit” of his poetry (The Paris Review), Cole has created a body of work that defies traditional distinctions between old and new, foreign and familiar, translation and original. He is, Harold Bloom writes, “a matchless translator and one of the handful of authentic poets in his own American generation.” Among his many honors are an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature, a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, a Jewish National Book Award, the PEN Prize in Translation, and, in 2007, a MacArthur Fellowship. He divides his time between Jerusalem and New Haven.