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 six books of poetry, one of short fiction, he is co-editor of an anthology of soccer poetry in Hebrew, as well as anthologies or religious and social protest poetry.
Meiri is the director of the Poetry Place in Jerusalem, head of the new College of Literary Arts in Jerusalem, which offers two year programs in creative writing and translation, and co-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
Advanced Search Carmel, Jerusalem, 2010
Released with Restrictive Conditions, Keshev, 2014
Come, My Time, Poetry Place, Jerusalem, 2017
Poetry anthologies (co-editor, in Hebrew)
Inner Goalposts: soccer poetry, Media 41, Tel Aviv, 2009
Prayer-poems, Yediot, Tel Aviv, 2011
Applause: social protest poems, Poetry Place, 2013
Fiction (in Hebrew)
The Citizen's Story Office, Carmel, Jerusalem, 2008
Non-fiction (in Hebrew)
Sympathetic Volcano: Parody in David Avidan's Poetry, Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 2012
A bilingual French-Hebrew presentation of 'Mythites', illustrated by Guy Ben-Ari, in Daniel Leuwers (Ed.), Les Tres Riches Heures du Livre Pauvre Éditions Gallimard, Paris, 2011
Wikipedia article, with many links in Hebrew
The poem 'Execution' in English translation
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