About Yonatan Berg’s work, fellow poet Eli Eliahu says that “it is written from a broad historical perspective and a universal human point of view, without conceding his own personal story”.
The youngest person ever awarded the Yehuda Amichai Poetry Prize, and whose first novel won the competition for debut writers held by the Ministry of Culture in cooperation with Am Oved Press, Berg was born in Jerusalem to parents of Ukrainian and German descent. His father emigrated from Odessa to Israel in the 1970s; his mother’s family has roots in Hamburg and Wurzburg. When Berg was four, the family moved to Psagot, an Israeli settlement near Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, where he was educated in a yeshiva and lived until the age of 18. The writer holds a BA in creative writing from Tel Aviv University and an MA in bibliotherapy from the University of Haifa, and currently lives in Tel Aviv. Berg is the author of three books of poetry, two novels and a memoir about growing up in a settlement. He is the author of a literary column in Haaretz, and a weekly opinion column for the Leeba web site.
In an interview excerpted on PI here, Berg, who has left the highly nationalist milieu he was born into, talks at length and intimately with Eliahu about his family, nationalism, and leaving religion.
BOOKS IN HEBREW
Mifrashim kashim (Hard Sails) Keshev Tel Aviv 2012
Sha'ote l'yad haolam (Hours next to the world) Keshev Tel Aviv 2014
Historia (History) Keshev Tel Aviv 2016
Ode hamesh dakote (Another five minutes) Am Oved Tel Aviv 2015
PODCAST: Marcela Sulak reads Berg’s psalms for TLV1
PODCAST: Yardenne Greenspan on the literature of trauma, including work by Berg, for Asymptote Journal
FICTION: Berg’s short story ‘Elegy’ translated by Anne Pace
Eli Eliahu interviews Berg
Amir Becker reviews Berg’s second book of poems
The poet’s blog on Leeba
An interview and the poem ‘Boat’
Tsur Ehrlich on Berg as a ‘local migrant’
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