April 21, 2017
Naomi Replansky Reading at New York Public Library
Just days before her 99th birthday, Naomi Replansky will recite in her singularly passionate voice poems she has composed over a lifetime of social engagement. Born in the Bronx to an immigrant Russian- Jewish family, she wrote her first poem when she was nine and a half years old.
Factory work, the Holocaust, racial violence and prison have fueled her imagination as also have love, loss, aging, and the fugitive Muse. Her unique form has been influenced by William Blake, black spirituals, Mother Goose, Shakespeare, George Herbert, Emily Dickinson and Latin-American Surrealism and Japanese poetry.
Her first volume of poems, Ring Song, published in 1952, was nominated for a National Book Award. Her later books include the chapbook Twenty One Poems Old and New (1988) and the full-length collections The Dangerous World: New and Selected Poems 1934–1994 (1994) and Collected Poems (2012), which won the 2013 William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America, and was a finalist for the 2014 Poets' Prize. She is also known for her translations from the German of Hugo von Hofmannsthal and Bertolt Brecht.
Replansky’s long-term partner is Eva Kollisch, a writer and professor emerita at Sarah Lawrence College. Together they received the Clara Lemlich Award which honors women who have been working for the larger good their entire lives. They live on the Upper West Side in New York City.