Contact: Yvonne French (202) 707-9191
Public Contact: Poetry and Literature Center (202) 707-5394

November 16, 1998

Israeli Poet Yehudi Amichai to Read His Work December 2 at the Library of Congress

Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai will read from his work at the Library of Congress at 6:45 p.m. December 2 in the Mumford Room, on the sixth floor of the James Madison Memorial Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E.

The reading is presented under the auspices of the Gertrude Clarke Whittall Poetry and Literature Fund in cooperation with the Embassy of Israel. Tickets are required, but seating is extremely limited. To inquire about availability, call the recorded announcement on (202) 707- 5395 and leave your name, number, address and the number of tickets you need. Someone will call back.

Mr. Amichai's reading is one of several events at the Library of Congress marking Israel's 50th anniversary. The exhibition, "Zion's Call: A Library of Congress Exhibition Marking Israel's Fiftieth Year," opened on September 17. Among items on display are the first Hebrew book printed in the Holy Land. The free exhibition will run through December 19 in the Thomas Jefferson Building. Exhibition hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. For information, call (202) 707-4604. A film series is also being held in the Mary Pickford Theater on the third floor of the Madison Building. To hear film titles, learn showtimes and reserve tickets up to a week in advance, call (202) 707-5677.

Yehuda Amichai has published 11 volumes of poetry in Hebrew; two novels, including Not of This Time, Not of This Place; and a book of short stories, The World Is a Room. His work has been translated into 33 languages. His collections of poetry in English translation include Poems, Songs of Jerusalem and Myself, Amen, Time, Love Poems, A Great Tranquillity: Questions and Answers, Poems of Jerusalem, Even a Fist Was Once an Open Palm with Fingers, and Yehuda Amichai: A Life of Poetry, 1948-1994. The Selected Poetry of Yehuda Amichai, edited and translated by Chana Bloch and Stephen Mitchell, was published in 1996 in a revised and expanded edition.

The Poetry and Literature Center, which administers the poetry series, is also the home of the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry, a position that has existed since 1936, when the late philanthropist Archer M. Huntington endowed the Chair of Poetry at the Library of Congress. Archibald MacLeish, who was Librarian from 1939 to 1944, determined the Consultant in Poetry should be an annual appointment. Since then, many of the nation's most eminent poets have served as Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress and, after the passage of Public Law 99-194 in 1985, as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry.

The 1997-1999 Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry, Robert Pinsky, is the award-winning translator of The Inferno of Dante and a creative writing professor at Boston University. He suggests authors to read in the literary series, plans other special events during the literary season, and usually introduces the programs. He will introduce Mr. Amichai.

Interpreting services (American Sign Language, Contact Signing, Oral and/or Tactile) will be provided if requested five business days in advance of the event. Call (202) 707- 6362 TTY and voice to make a specific request. For other ADA accommodations, contact the Disability Employment office at (202) 707-9948 TTY and (202) 707-7544 voice.

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PR 98-182
ISSN 0731-3527

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