- Category: PA 2001
Amir Or was born in Tel Aviv, Israel in 1956, Amir has worked as a shepherd, builder and restaurateur. He studied philosophy and Comparative Religion at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where he later lectured on Ancient Greek Religion. He is the founder of the Helicon Society for the Advancement of Poetry in Israel, and is currently the director and chief editor of the poetry journal, Helicon. Or has published numerous papers, articles and essays on literature, theology and the classics and has translated poetry and prose from Greek, Latin, English and other languages. Several books of his translations have been published, the latest of which are Stories From The Mahabharata (1998) and To a Woman by Shuntaro Tanikawa, with Akiko Takahashi (2000).
Amir Or has taken part in many literary festivals and forums and was invited as a guest writer to the University of Iowa, to the Literarische Colloquium Berlin, and other cultural institutes. Selections of his poems have been published in numerous translations in the books Poetry is a Criminal Girl (1995), Miracle (1998), and Drowning, He Breaths Living Water (2000), as well as in various anthologies and magazines. Among the awards Or has received are the Prime Minister Literature Award, the Mordechai Bernstein Prize from the Israeli Publisher Association, and the Culture Minister honorary award for his translations of classical Greek poetry. Rafi Weichart, critic, translator, and Professor of Hebrew Literature writes: "Amir Or's poems bring to mind the photographs of Robert Maplethorpe, blending pain, the erotic and the aesthetic. Or strives to connect his poetry to the classical tradition of writing, and to create modern poetry without relinquishing the past."