Gilad Meiri was born in Jerusalem to a father of Syrian Jewish descent and a mother from Lvov/Lemberg in what was once Poland (and is now the Ukraine). His mother, hidden as an infant by a Christian woman, was one of only 80 children from the city to survive the Holocaust. Gilad Meiri spent his childhood in Jerusalem with long stays in Minneapolis and San Francisco in the USA due to his father’s work. After army service, he received his BA and MA (with a thesis on Yona Wallach) in Hebrew literature from Hebrew University, and his PhD (on the poetry of David Avidan) from Tel Aviv University. The author of two books of poetry, one of short fiction, and editor of a new anthology of soccer poetry in Hebrew, Meiri is the director of the Poetry Place in Jerusalem, and a member of the Ketovet group that serves as the national editor for the Israeli pages of PIW. He is married and the father of three children; his entire extended family features large in his poetry, as does the earthly city of Jerusalem.
It is clear that Meiri-the-poet (a person who carefully observes the life around him) and Meiri-the-poetry-scholar (one who carefully observes the work of others) has deep affection for the poets he has chosen to analyze and is influenced by them. In his article in this issue on nano-poetics, Meiri cites “The movement from major to minor that is characterized by preferences for what is concrete, human, mundane, ephemeral, personal, humorous, unusual, ironic and restrained – over what is abstract, divine, sacred, unchanging, collective, serious, familiar, bathetic and ornate.” And indeed, we find in his own work: messy living rooms, zippers clanking in dryers, the entire menu of family picnics (and what wasn’t eaten, and why), and so on. Yet his concern with the concrete (and the apparent downsizing of poetic subjects) should not be mistaken as a trivialisation of life or a lack of thought. Like the Israeli poets he admires, Meiri uses the physicality of everyday to reflect on the issues we face and the big ideas that concern us: the subterranean flow of responsibility in family relations; the connection of contemporary Israelis to Jewish history; the emergence of garden variety greed and fear; and how we deal with violence in its local manifestations.
Poetry (in Hebrew)
Organic Paganic, Carmel, Jerusalem, 2003
Tremors In Jelly, Carmel, Jerusalem, 2006
Ketovet (group anthology) Even Hoshen, Ra'anana, 2008
Poetry anthology (editor, in Hebrew)
Inner Goalposts: soccer poetry, Media 41, Tel Aviv, 2009
Fiction (in Hebrew)
The Citizen’s Story Office, Carmel, Jerusalem, 2008
Non-fiction (in Hebrew)
Parody in David Avidan's Poetry (forthcoming)
Wikipedia article, with many links in Hebrew
The poem ‘Execution’ in English translation
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