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Margolin, Anna


MARGOLIN, ANNA (pseudonym of Rosa Lebensboym ; 1887–1952), Yiddish poet and journalist. Born into a maskilic family in Brest-Litovsk, Belorussia, Margolin studied in the Odessa Jewish gymnasium. She came to the United States for the first time in 1906 and, working as a secretary for the philosopher Dr. Chaim *Zhitlowsky, began to publish in the Yiddish press. Subsequently, as secretary for the Yiddish anarchist newspaper Di Fraye Arbeter Shtime, she published short stories under the pseudonym Khava Gros. She lived in London, Paris, and Warsaw (1910–11). After she married the writer Moyshe Stanvski, the couple immigrated to Palestine, but the marriage was short-lived, and, after she bore a son, she left her husband, returning first to Warsaw, and then, in 1914, to New York. As a writer and editor for the Yiddish newspaper Der Tog, Margolin wrote a weekly column, "In der Froyen-Velt" ("In the World of Women") under her own name, as well as articles under the pseudonym Clara Levin. In 1919 she married the Yiddish poet Reuben *Iceland. She began to write poems under the pseudonym Anna Margolin in 1921, which she published in the prominent Yiddish papers and literary journals of the day in New York, Warsaw, and other Yiddish centers. She published a single volume of her own poems, Lider ("Poems," 1929) and edited an anthology, Dos Yidishe Lid in Amerike ("The Yiddish Poem in America," 1923). Her poems received the warmest acclaim from her contemporary Yiddish critics. Both then and now, Margolin has been perceived as the quintessential modernist woman poet. Poems in English translation appeared in: Leftwich, The Golden Peacock; I. Howe and E. Greenberg (eds.), A Treasury of Yiddish Poetry (1969); I. Howe et al. (eds.), Penguin Book of Modern Yiddish Verse (1987); M. Kay et al. (eds.), The Tribe of Dina: A Jewish Women's Anthology (1989); A. Kramer (ed.), A Century of Yiddish Poetry (1989); R. Whitman (ed.), An Anthology of Modern Yiddish Poetry: Bilingual Edition (1995); J. Chametzky et al. (eds.), Jewish American Literature: A Norton Anthology (2001).


Rejzen, Leksikon, 2 (1927), 209–12; lnyl, 5 (1963), 478–80; A. Novershtern, in: Anna Margolin, Lider (1991), v–lviii; S. Swartz, in: P. Hyman and D.D. Moore (eds.), Jewish Womenin America: An Historical Encyclopedia, 2 (1997), 891–2; A. Norich, in: ibid., 1526–9; K. Hellerstein, in: Prooftexts, 20 (2000), 191–205.

[Kathryn Hellerstein (2nd ed.)]

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