Arts and Entertainment

Renowned poet reads works at P.C.

Chana Bloch, poet, translator, scholar and teacher from California, reads selections from two of her new books at Peninsula College's Foothills Writers Series on Tuesday, May 4.

The free reading begins at 12:35 p.m. in the college's Little Theater, 1502 E. Lauridsen Blvd., Port Angeles.

"Blood Honey," Bloch's fourth book of poetry, received critical recognition even before its release last year. While Bloch was working on it, it was selected as the winner of the Alice di Castagnola Award of the Poetry Society of America for a manuscript-in-progress.

Translates Israeli

Bloch's newest translation, "Hovering at a Low Altitude: The Collected Poetry of Dahlia Ravikovitch," also was released in 2009. She shares the translation credits with Chana Kronfeld.

The late poet Ravikovitch is ranked among Israel's most powerful contemporary poets, and the new book contains work that never has been fully collected in English. Critic Robert Alter says the new translation makes "accessible to American readers a major 20th-century poet whose work is a unique fusion of the personal and the political."

Bloch authored other books of poems, "The Secrets of the Tribe," "The Past Keeps Changing" and "Mrs. Dumpty." Many of her poems have been set to music and performed in the San Francisco Bay area.

Song of Songs

She is co-translator of the biblical Song of Songs and six books of contemporary Israeli poetry, including "Hovering at a Low Altitude." She is also the author of a critical study, "Spelling the Word: George Herbert and the Bible."

Bloch is professor emerita of English at Mills College, where she taught for more than 30 years and directed the creative writing program. Since retiring, she has devoted herself to poetry, translation and occasional teaching and is the poetry editor of Persimmon Tree (, an online journal of the arts by women over 60.

Among her writing

awards are two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts in poetry and translation, a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Writers Exchange Award of Poets & Writers, two Pushcart Prizes and the Discovery Award of the 92nd Street Y Poetry Center.

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