Miransky, Peretz

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MIRANSKY, PERETZ (1908–1993), Yiddish poet and fable-writer. Miransky was born in Vilnius (Vilna), Lithuania, where he attended ḥeder and then public high school. He made his literary debut in 1934 with two fables in the Vilner Tog. He joined the *Yung Vilne (Young Vilna) group of poets and artists, and contributed to its literary publications such as Yung Vilne. He was one of the group's last remaining members along with Abraham *Sutzkever. His fables appeared in Yiddish periodicals, including the Warsaw Literarishe Bleter and the Kovno (Kaunas) Emes, and newspapers in Bialystok, Grodno, and Gluboke (Hlybokaye, Belarus). His fables were used in pedagogical materials for the Yiddish schools. He wrote pieces that were performed in the Vilna arrt revue theater and in the Maydim Yiddish puppet theater.

Miransky fled the Nazi invasion to Samarkand, Uzbekistan, and worked in an artel. After the war he lived in the Tempelhof DP camp in Berlin, where he was culturally active among the refugees and coedited the journal Undzer Lebn. He immigrated to Canada in 1949 and settled in Montreal. He moved permanently to Toronto in 1955 and greatly enriched the Toronto Yiddish cultural scene. His Yiddish poetry and fables were published widely in the Yiddish press and in literary journals including the Keneder Odler, Yidisher Zhurnal, Goldene Keyt, Svive, Tsukunft, Afn Shvel, Yidishe Kultur, and the Forverts. He published several volumes of his writing in Canada and Israel: A Likht far a Groshn (1951), Shures Shire: Lider un Mesholim (1974), Tsvishn Shmeykhl un Trer: MesholimBukh (1979), Nit Derzogt (1983), and A Zemer fun Demer (1991). His writing, with its eternal themes and emphasis on issues of social justice, has been widely published in translation, most recently in a bilingual English-Yiddish edition: Selected Poems and Fables: An English/Yiddish Collection (ed. Anna Miransky, 2000). His poetry has also been set to music, found in Marilyn Lerner and David Wall's Still Soft Voiced Heart: New Yiddish Lieder (2002) and the Flying Bulgar Klezmer Band's Sweet Return (2003).


C.L. Fuks, Hundert Yor Yidishe un Hebreyishe Literatur in Kanade. (1982) 164–65; S. Niger et al., (eds.), Leksikon fun der Nayer Yidisher Literatur, vol. 5 (1956–81), 669; "Peretz Miransky," in: M. Ravitch, Mayn Leksikon: Yidishe Shraybers, Kintslers, Aktiorn, oykh Klaltuers in di Amerikes un Andere Lender, vol. 6, book 2 (1982), 108–10.

[Rebecca Margolis (2nd ed.)]