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Menke Katz Resource Page




Books (9 in Yiddish, 9 in English)Translations of Yiddish books.   Editor.   Folksongs.   EssaysDiaries.  Translations in book formAbout Menke & his poetry (inc. I. Bashevis Singer, Sh. Niger,  M. Olgin, A. Pomerantz, M. Ravitch).   Menke’s Audio & Video.   Video about Menke Katz.    Biographies and researchMenke’s poems set to music.  Poems on Menke.   Maps.   PhotographsEvents.   

“The question is, to tell the truth, whether in generations to come, a hundred years hence, someone will love Menke’s poetry enough (in any language) to name a child (be it son or daughter) Menke (not something or other that starts with M)” (—Menke Katz)

Menke’s 18 Books: 9 Yiddish, 9 English: all online (see also: Books page)

  1. The nine Yiddish Books: Dray shvester [Three Sisters] (Milwaukee 1932); Der mentsh in togn [As Humanity Dawns] (NY 1935); Brenendik shtetl  [Burning Town] vol. I & vol. II (NY 1938); S’hot dos vort mayn bobe Moyne (PDF) [Grandmother Mona Takes the Floor] (preface by William Abrams, NY 1939); Tsu dertseyln in freydn [To Tell It in Happy Times] (NY 1941); Der posheter kholem [The Simple Dream] (N 1947); Inmitn tog [Midday] (NY 1954); Tsfas [Safad] (Tel Aviv 1979). Posthumously: Menke sonetn [Menke Sonnets] (NY 1993); 2nd edition of Dray shvester (Rowen, Wales, 1993).

  2. The nine English books: Land of Manna [PDF] (Chicago 1965); Rockrose [PDF] (NY 1970); Burning Village (NY 1972—not a translation of the 1938 Yiddish vols); Forever and Ever and a Wednesday with illustrations by Lisa Smith (NY 1980); (with Harry Smith:) Two Friends (NY and London 1981); A Chair for Elijah (NY 1985); (with Harry Smith:) Two Friends II (NY 1988); Nearby Eden (NY 1990); posthumously: This Little Land, edited by Stanley H. Barkan (NY 1992).

  3. Online selections of poems by Steven Lawson (English); and Dovid Katz (Yiddish and English).

Translation of the Nine Yiddish Books into English

Benjamin and Barbara Harshav (translators), Menke: The Complete Yiddish Works [in English translation] with preface by Harry Smith and introduction by Dovid Katz (NY 2005). PDF of proofs only of: introductions; pp. 1-452; pp. 453-779.

Menke’s Collections of Yiddish Folk (and other) Songs (see also: Folksong page)

  1. Digital edition of Menke Katz’s 1985 collection of Yiddish folk (and other) songs.

  2. As PDF of his manuscript with illustrations by Rivke Katz.

  3. Recordings of Menke singing folksongs self-accompanied on his mandolin (digitization in progress).

  4. Sheh Sheh (Shelley Handler Murphy), Songs of My Grandfather (audio cassette format).

Periodicals Edited (see also: Periodicals page)

  1. In Yiddish: Founding co-editor of Mir (in Yiddish): 3 issues in 1944.

  2. In English: Founding (/only) editor-in-chief of Bitterroot (in English), 100 issues, 1962-1991. Associate editors: Sol Karp (issues 1–39 [1962–1972]); Stanley H. Barkan (issues 40-43 [1972–1973)]); Ruth Katz (issues 44–48 [1974]); Henry F. Beechhold (issues 49–63 [1974–1978]); Henry F. Beechhold & Norman Andrew Kirk (issue 64 [1978]); Norman Andrew Kirk & Merle Molofsky (issues 65–81 [1978–1983]); Martin Golan & Norman Andrew Kirk (issues 82–-85 [1983–1985]); Shirley Horowitz & Norman Andrew Kirk (issues 86–100 [1985–1991]).

  3. Anthology editor: Guest Editor of Freshness of the Ancient. Oceania’s Double Annual 1986-1987. Modern Yiddish Poetry [in English translation], (T.I.C.W. International: Madras, India.

Essays and Articles (see also Essays page)

  1. In Yiddish: “Symbolizm: element tsi metod” in Signál (eds. William Abrams, Aaron Kurtz, B. Fenster), May 1935; “Der Braver Pakhdn” (manifesto for a Yiddish poetry free of socialist political correctness and leftist demands), in the Frayhayt (ed. M. Olgin, 14 Aug. 1938); preface to Ben Yomen’s Zing Mayn Folk (NY 1943); “A bisl Mikhálishker loshn un folklór” in Yídishe shprakh (ed. Mordkhe Schaechter), vol. 35, 1976; “A vort vegn ortográfye” & “A vort vegn férz-takt in der yídisher poézye” in his Tsfas (Tel Aviv 1979); “Mayn kháver Yosl Grínshpan” in Yidishe kultur (ed. Itche Goldberg), vol. 49, no. 7-8 (July-August 1987); “Zéygermakheráy in Mikháleshik” in Oxford Yiddish I (Chur 1990); “Form in poézye un natúr” in Oxford Yiddish II (Chur 1995). “Zikhroynes fun Svintsyan un Mikhaleshik in Yiddish Pen (1996), no 21; “Makhshóves fun a nyu-yórker yídishn poét un lérer” in Yidishe kultur (ed. Itche Goldberg), vol. 63, no. 5-6 (Nov-Dec 2001) & vol. 64, no. 1-2 (Jan-Feb 2002).

  2. In English:
    “A Word or Two” (introduction to the first issue of Bitterroot, Fall 1962); “A Word or Two Against Rhyme” (inaugural essay of the Aspects of Modern Poetry series) in Poet Lore, 1966; “The Greatest Sex Story Ever Told” in Pulpsmith (ed. Harry Smith), vol. 1, no. 1, Spring 1981); “How Daughter-in-Law Turned a Trick on Judah”in Pulpsmith, vol. 1, no. 2, Summer 1981); Preface in Norman Andrew Kirk, Panda Zoo (Wayland, Massachusetts, 1983); “Dilon [Zhuravitski], Avrom-Moyshe” & “Grinshpan, Yosl” in The Blackwell Companion to Jewish Culture (ed. Glenda Abramson), Oxford 1989.


  1. Menke’s diary (1951-1952), in the form of daily letters to his brother Yeiske.

  2. Menke’s diary (1976-1977), addressed to his son Hirshe-Dovid.

  3. Menke’s diary (1978-1979), addressed to his wife Rivke and his son Hirshe-Dovid.


Translations of Menke’s Poetry in Book Form (see also Translations page)

  1.  Stanley H. Barkan (ed), International Festival of Poetry and Art, Menke Katz’s “Death of a Day Old Child” [translated into Chinese, Esperanto, French, German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Ibo, Italian, Japanese, Kannada, Korean, Lithuanian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Tagalog, Yiddish] (Cross-Cultural Communications, Fall 1973). Online in Point Eidtions.

  2. Belarusian: pamphlet-format offprint of fifteen poems translated by Tatiana Halliday. Introduction by Vital Zajka. In Zapisy, no. 27, New York & Minsk 2004, pp. 391-408.

  3. English: Benjamin and Barbara Harshav, translators: Menke, The Complete Yiddish Poems (edited by Harry Smith & Dovid Katz, NY 2005). PDF of proofs only of: introductions; pp. 1-452; pp. 453-779.

  4. French: Alexandre Amprimoz (trans. & ed.), Initiation à Menke Katz (Les Presses Libres: Montreal 1972).

  5. Greek: Hugh McCinley (ed. & trans.), Th Toy Manna (bilingual Greek-English edition, Alvin Redman Hellas: Athens 1968).

  6. Hebrew: Dov Vardi (trans. from English), Menke Katz: Perah Selah (Sifriat Poalim, Merhaviah & Tel Aviv 1973).

  7. Hebrew: Yehoshua Bar-Yosef, Zvi Kaspi, Shlomo Tanai (Tanny), Menachem Zuriel, Ezra Zusman, and others (trans. from Yiddish) of Menke Katz’s poems during the years he lived in Safad (Tsfas/Tsefat), Israel (1954-1956 & 1959-1960) [in MS form only, unpublished].

  8. Italian: Alexandre Amprimoz (trans. & ed., Menke Katz: Choice Poems in Italian (Rome 1974).

  9. Japanese: Twelve Poems of Menke Katz (bilingual edition, Subterranean Books: Tokyo 1967).

  10. Kannada: G. S. Sharat Chandra (ed.), On the Death of a Day Old Child and Other Poems of Menke Katz (translated by G.S. Sharat Chandra & G. S. Manjula, G.S.S.C. Publications: Bangalore, India 1968).

  11. Lithuanian: Kerry Shawn Keys (ed.), Selected Poems (bilingual edition; translations by Laurynas Katkus, Birutė Ušinskaitė, Alvydas Bausys, Sonata Paliulytė, Artūras Valionis (Versus Aureus: Vilnius 2008).

Debates, Book Reviews, Literary Portraits (on his Yiddish poetry)

1938 Braver Pakhdn debate: Menke Katz (14 Aug). Martin Birnbaum (21 Aug).  Moyshe Katz (28 Aug). Editor’s note (3 Sept)Aaron Kurtz (4 Sept).  L. Yurman (11 Sept). William Abrams (18 Sept)B. Tepper (2 Oct). English editor’s note (6 Oct).

Entries/chapters in encyclopedia/collective volumes and portrait articles/prefaces:Alexander Pomerantz (1935). William Abrams  (1939). Moyshe Shtarkman (1945) with extensive bibliography). M. Olgin (1949). William Abrams (1942).  Melech Ravitch (1958). Yosl Kohn (Cohen) (1960). Sholem Shtern (1982).

Dray shvester (1932): Yankev Botashansky (15 April 1932). Yankev Pilovsky (21 June 1945). 

Der mentsh in togn (1935): Sh. Karakushansky (31 May 1935).  Yankev Pilovsky (21 June 1945, part 1 only). Unknown (1935).

Brenendik shtetl (vols 1-2, 1938): Book launch. M. Olgin I (English, 27 Apriol 1938). M. Olgin II (Yiddish), 1938 (1949 reprint).

Bobe Moyne  (1939): Book announcement slip. Moyshe Shtarkman (1939). Isaac Bashevis Singer (1940). L. Zhitnitzky (1940).

 Tsu dertseyln in freydn (1941)Book launch. Fragments of two reviews.

Der posheter kholem (1947): NY Book launch poster.  Washington DC Yosl Kohn (1947). Unknown fragment.

Inmitn tog (1954): Avrom Lev (1954). Isaac Bashevis Singer (1956). 

Audio & Video by Menke Katz

  1. Menke Katz playlist on Dovid Katz’s Youtube channel.

  2. Interview with Louis Ehrenkrantz (radio) “World of the Little Magazine” series, no 24, 196?).

  3. Interview with Stan Rubin of the Writers Forum at Brockport College (local TV) on 22 April 1977.

  4. Interview with Prof. Stanley (Shimke) Levine (video, in Yiddish, 197?; file under repair).

  5. Interview with Prof Stanley (Shimke) Levine (video, in English, 197? file under repair).

  6. Dozens of audio cassettes (two from the 1950s, most from c. 1971–1991), have been digitized and will be organized and posted online as soon as resources permit. A small number of videos from family gatherings that include folk songs accompanied on the mandolin are being digitized.

Video about Menke Katz

  1. Troim Katz Handler interviewed by Christa Whitney (2013, video, in English) for the National Yiddish Book Center.

  2. Rivke Katz interviewed by Romas Lileikis in the documentary film (Vilnius 1992).

  3. Yeiske (Joseph) Katz interviewed by Dovid Katz, filmed by Saulius Berzinis (Vilnius c. 2000).

  4. Dovid Katz interviewed by Noah Barrera and Gustavo Emos  (2020,  video, in Yiddish) for their series of interviews in Yiddish with children of Yiddish writers.

  5. Professor Steven F. Lawson recalling his Yiddish teacher Menke Katz (6 Feb. 2010).

Biography, Memoirs, and Literary Research

  1. Menke Katz’s autobiographical essay in Contemporary Authors, vol 9 (Detroit 1989, pp. 49-71).

  2. Harry Smith’s preface to the 2005 collection of Menke’s nine Yiddish books translated by Benjamin and Barbara Harshav (Menke: The Complete Yiddish works).

  3. Memoirs, essays, and research by Dovid Katz.  In Yiddish: in Yidishe kultur (1991); in Oxford Yiddish II (1991, pp. 293-311); in Di goldene keyt (1991,no. 132, pp. 98-123); On Dray shvester in Yidishe kultur (1992,vol. 54, no 4, pp. 41-49 and  no 5: pp 37-46). In English: Intro to the Complete Yiddish Poems translated by the Harshavs (2005); parts of intro to Amelia Glaser, ed. Proletpen (2005, pp. 3-25).

Menke Katz’s Poems Set to Music

  1. Emes: music composed and performed by Joanna (Ashke) Czaban (2021).
  2. Emes: music composed and directed by Daniel Galay, sung by  Naah Bizansky at Leyvik House (19 May 2021).
  3. Emes: music composed and performed by Mayer Bogdanski (198os).
  4. Yidish: music composed by Mikhl Gelbart in his Naye gezangen. New Songs for School, Home and Concert (no. 28).

Poems about Menke Katz and his Poetry

  1. Zelig Dorfman’s poem Dray shvester

  2. Stanley H. Barkan’s To a Brooklyn Poet

  3. E. M.  Schorb

  4.  Harry Smith (link coming)


  1. Geography of Menke’s boyhood in Lithuania by Giedrė Beconytė.

  2.  Geography of Menke’s life (Lithuania, USA, Israel) by Giedrė Beconytė [in progress].


  1. Photos from family collection in Menke Katz Album on Facebook.

    Events and Public (/Online) Readings

    1. Where Yiddish Laughs and Cries: A Celebration of the Poems and Life of Menke Katz by Raquel Yossiffon and Marinka Yossiffon at the Kiever Shul of Downtown Toronto, 25 April 2021. Program. Video of the event on youtubePP presentation. Yiddish poems included. Online event details with all links. With the participatin of Kiever Shul staff and Stanley H. Barkan, Noyekh Barrera, Miriam Borden, Zishe Carlow, Ori Carmona, Stacie Carmona, Joanna Czaban, Gustavo de Oliveira Emos, Daniel Galay, Claudia Handler, Barbara Harshav, Charles Heller, Masha Kalmanovitch, Benjamin Miller, Shelley Murphy, Alon Nashman,

    2. World of the Lower East Side Radical Yiddish Writers of Proletpen. Menke Katz’s reflections as remembered by his son. Kolya Borodulin interviews Dovid Katz (in Yiddish) at Workmens Circle online event on 2 May 2021. Event announcement  (also: here). PDF presented. Video.

    3. Children of Yiddish Writers series produced by Noah Barrera and Gustavo Emos: guest appearance by Dovid Katz speaking on Menke Katz,  29 November 2020. On youtube.

    4. Syndic Literary Journal: Eight  Poems by Menke Katz 1906 – 1991. Narrated in English Translation by Stanley H. Barkan.  In the Original Yiddish by Masha Kalmanóvitch.

Corrections, additions and suggestions are welcome. Please write to Dovid Katz at: info@yiddishculturaldictionary.org. Thank you.



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