Short Bio Note
Peter Cole was born in Paterson, New Jersey, in 1957. He is the author of five books of poems –most recently Hymns & Qualms: New and Selected Poems and Translations (FSG)—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 ramifying vision of connectedness, one 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, the American Library Association’s Award for the Jewish Book of the Year (with Adina Hoffman, for Sacred Trash: The Lost and Found World of the Cairo Geniza) and, in 2007, a MacArthur Fellowship. He divides his time between Jerusalem and New Haven.