Poet, Translator and a Researcher

Amir Or

Amir Or.Tchechik small

Amir Or, born in Tel Aviv in 1956, is the author of eleven volumes of poetry in Hebrew. His latest books are Heart Beast (2010), Prophecy of the Madman (2012) and Loot (Selected poems 1977-2013). His poems, translated into more than forty languages, have appeared in poetry journals, anthologies, as well as in eighteen books in Europe and America. Among them are Poem and Day (Dedalus, 2004, 2006,); The Museum of Time (ArtAark, 2009; Dutch, Azul Press 2012), Miracle/Milagro (Spanish/English, Urpi Editores, U.S. 2011) Loot (Serbian, Arhipelag Press 2012, 2014, Şiirden, Turkish 2014), Le Musée du Temps (Editons de l'Amandier, 2013), Let's Speak You (English/Romanian/Hebrew, Contemporary Literature Press 2014) and Tredici Poesie (Italian, Milan 2014).

Or gave readings and lectured in dozens of festivals and conferences worldwide. He is the recipient of Israeli and international poetry awards, including the Pleiades tribute (SPE 2000) for having made “a significant contribution to modern world poetry”, the Fulbright Award for Writers, the Bernstein Prize, the Levi Eshkol Prime Minister’s Poetry Prize, the Oeneumi literary prize 2010 of the Tetovo Poetry Festival, the Wine Poetry prize 2013 of the Struga Poetry Evenings and the 'Stefan Mitrov Ljubisa' Award 2014 of The Budva City Theater. He was also awarded several poetry fellowships, among them fellowships from Iowa University; the Centre of Jewish-Hebrew Studies at the University of Oxford; the Literarische Colloquium, Berlin; the Heinrich Böll Foundation, Ireland; and the Hawthornden Castle, Scotland.

He translated into Hebrew eight prose and poetry books, including The Gospel of Thomas;  Stories from the Mahabharata; and Limb Loosening Desire, an anthology of erotic Greek poetry. For his translations from ancient Greek he was awarded the Culture Minister Prize.

Or has studied Philosophy and Comparative Religion at The Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where he later lectured on Ancient Greek Religion. He has taught poetry and creative writing at Helicon Poetry School, as well as at universities in Israel, Europe, the U.S., and Japan. He has published numerous essays on poetry, classic studies, and comparative religion.

In 1990 Or co-founded Helicon Poetry Society and later on served as Helicon's Chief Editor and Artistic Director. He initiated and developed its various projects, including Helicon's poetry journal and its series of poetry books; the Sha’ar International Poetry Festival; and the Helicon Hebrew-Arabic Poetry School.

Or serves as editor of the Catuv poetry books series. as national editor of the international poetry magazines Atlas and Blesok, and as a national coordinator for the U.N. sponsored UPC venture, “Poets for Peace.” He is a founding member of the EACWP (European Association of Creative Writing Programs) of the international Circle of Poets and of the WPM (World Poetry Movement).