PESI HERSHFELD-POMERANTS (PESSIE POMERANTZ-HONIGBAUM) (May 20, 1900-August 8, 1978)
She was born in Kamenobrod (Kamennyy Brod), Volhynia. Her father was an art engraver. She was the wife of the teacher, cultural leader, and writer, Dr. Khayim Pomerants. She graduated from a three-level Russian public school and studied foreign languages with private tutors. She moved to the United States in late 1913 and settled in Chicago, where she initially worked in a sweatshop. From 1918 she was publishing poetry in: Di feder (The pen), Der fraynd (The friend), Kundes (Prankster), Fraye arbeter shtime (Free voice of labor), Tsukunft (Future), Idisher kemfer (Jewish fighter), Frayhayt (Freedom), Proletarishe shtime (Proletarian voice), and Nyu yorker vokhnblat (New York weekly newspaper)—all in New York; and in the publications of Chicago Yiddish poets’ groups, such as In nebl (Foggy), Yugend (Youth), Rezonans (Resonance), and Ineynem (Altogether), as well as in the anthologies Yung-shikago (Young Chicago). She also wrote pieces for the daily Di velt (The world) in Chicago. Among her books: Kareln (Corals), poetry (Chicago, 1926), 94 pp.; Geklibene lider (Selected poetry) (Chicago, 1931), 15 pp.; Royter toy (Red dew) (Chicago, 1939), 130 pp.; Reges fun genod, geklibene lider (Moments of grace, selected poems) (New York: Tsiko, 1957), 158 pp., which consists of the series, “Shtiler otem” (Quiet breath), “Flekn zun” (Sun spots), “Kishefdike vayt” (Magically far away), and “Gekoyleter nekhtn” (Yesterday destroyed), and with illustration by Y. Shlos; Fun ale mayne lider (From all of my poems) (Haifa, 1969), 203 pp. One senses in her poetry the authenticity of expression, particularly when she recounts stories from her hometown and from family joys and sadness. She lived for many years in New York, after which she returned with her family to Chicago where she died.
Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; E. Korman, ed., Yidishe dikhterins, antologye (Jewish women poets, anthology) (Chicago, 1928), pp. 179-84, 342; Shmuel Niger, in Tsukunft (New York) (August 1933); Leye Mishkin, in Pinkes shikago (Records of Chicago) (1951/1952), pp. 89, 104; A. Pat, in Oyfsnay (New York) 16 (1957); Pat, in Der veg (Mexico City) (November 29, 1958); “Di literarishe vokh” (The literary week), Keneder odler (Montreal) (December 23, 1957); A. Leyeles, in Tog-morgn zhurnal (New York) (March 22, 1958); Y. Botoshanski, in Di prese (Buenos Aires) (May 10, 1958); Y. Bronshteyn, in Undzer veg (Chicago) (Tishri [= October-November] 1959).
[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 224.]