Irena Klepfisz

Irena Klepfisz is a poet, Yiddish translator, teacher and feminist/lesbian activist who has focused her activism on challenging homophobia, and promotig secular Jewish identity and women and peace in the Middle East and her research on Eastern European/Yiddish women writers and intellectuals.  Klepfisz co-founded the feminist magazine, Conditions, and co-edited The Tribe of Dina: A Jewish Woman’s Anthology and A Jewish Woman’s Call for Peace. For ten years she taught English and Women’s Studies in the college program at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for women and recently ended 22 years of teaching Jewish Women’s Studies at Barnard College.  She was a recipient of an NEA fellowship and NYFA grant in poetry and was a finalist for the poetry Lambda Award.  Most recently she received the Dreaming in Yiddish Prize from the Adrienne Cooper Fund.  The author of A Few Words in the Mother Tongue (poetry) and Dreams of an Insomniac (essays), she is preparing a manuscript for a bilingual collection of her poetry and prose to be issued next year by the Polish publishing house słowo/obraz terytoria (word/image territories).