Samuel Menashe

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Samuel Menashe (born 16 September 1925) is an American poet. He was born in New York City, the son of Russian-Jewish immigrant parents. He grew up in Elmhurst, Queens, and graduated from Townsend Harris High School and Queens College. In 1944, he served in the US army infantry in the Battle of the Bulge in the Ardennes. After the war, he used his GI Bill money to study at the Sorbonne where he received an advanced degree.

In the 1950s, Menashe returned to New York, where, with frequent sojourns in England and Ireland, he has lived the rest of his life. In 1961, he garnered the blessing of the British poet Kathleen Raine who arranged for the publication of his first book, No Jerusalem But This, by Victor Gollancz in London. Menashe's short, intense, spiritual poems, which canvass existential dilemmas and use implication as a way of deepening the linguistic force of his words, gained wide acclaim in Britain from reviewers such as Donald Davie, who became one of Menashe's most committed backers. He was later included in the Penguin Modern Poets series.

During the 1960s, he taught literature and poetry courses at C. W. Post College. Previously, he taught at Bard College.

Despite much acclaim, Menashe has remained marginal on the American poetry scene. He has persisted in writing, however, producing several more powerful books culminating in The Niche Narrows in 2000. Prominent poets, critics and editors who have admired Menashe's work include Dana Gioia, Billy Collins, Geordie Greig, and Christopher Ricks. In 2004, Poetry magazine in Chicago awarded Menashe its first Neglected Masters award, which entailed publication of a book of selected poems by the Library of America. This volume, edited by Ricks, appeared in 2005 on the occasion of the poet's 80th birthday, and was widely reviewed.

NAME Menashe, Samuel
DATE OF BIRTH 16 September 1925
  • [2] Samuel Menashe - Poetry Archive. Recordings of Menashe reciting a selection of his poetry.
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