Born Rosa Lebensboym in Belarus in 1887, one of Yiddish’s most experimental and storied poets emigrated to America in 1913, publishing only one volume of poems in 1929 before settling into a later life of embittered affairs and heartbreak. Drunk from the Bitter Truth collects that one book, Lider, in addition to later uncollected poems printed — oftentimes begrudgingly — in daily Yiddish newspapers, which usuaally favored simpler verse as opposed to the abstractions of the so-called “di yunge” (The Younger Generation) or “inzikhistn” (The Introspectivists) of the 1920s. Margolin loved many of the poets involved with these groups, though she was a member of neither: I have wandered so much, beloved/through strange and dark lives,/through hearts like wastelands — /be kind. This astounding bilingual edition presents Margolin complete for the first time in English, and for the first time in Yiddish in over 50 years. Translator, editor and introducer Shirley Kumove has done Jewish letters an amazing service in her fine renditions, and wonderfully presented biographical and bibliographic material. Highly recommended.
Joshua Cohen was born in 1980 in Atlantic City. His books include the novels Moving Kings, Book of Numbers, Witz, A Heaven of Others, and Cadenza for the Schneidermann Violin Concerto; the short-fiction collection Four New Messages, and the nonfiction collection Attention: Dispatches from a Land of Distraction. Cohen was awarded Israel’s 2013 Matanel Prize for Jewish Writers, and in 2017 was named one of Granta’s Best Young American Novelists. He lives in New York City.