Tuesday, 14 March 2017


DINE LIBKIS (b. 1900)
            The pseudonym of Dine Kipnes-Shapiro, she was the sister of the writer Itsik Kipnis and the wife of the poet Monye Shapiro.  She was born in Sloveshne (Slovetshno), Volhynia, to a father who worked as a tanner.  She received both a Jewish and a general education, initially in her hometown and later in Kiev where she completed a Jewish pedagogical course of study.  For a time she worked in a children’s home, later in a Jewish middle school, later still as an assistant librarian at the Winchevsky Library in Kiev.  Influenced by her older brother, she began to write herself and debuted in print with poetry in the newspaper Komunistishe fon (Communist banner) in Kiev (1922).  From that point, she published poetry, prose poetry, and stories in: Komunistishe fon, Shtern (Star), the anthology Barg aroyf (Uphill) (1922-1923), and the almanac Ukraine (Ukraine)—all in Kiev; Di royte velt (The red world) and Sovetishe literatur (Soviet literature)—in Kharkov; Emes (Truth), Yungvald (Young forest), Pyoner (Pioneer), and Eynikeyt (Unity)—in Moscow; among others.  She translated: N. S. Leskov, Di khaye (The animal) (Kiev, 1929), 37 pp.; S. Vasil’chenko’s Avyatsye-krayzl (The flying club) (Kharkov-Kiev, 1932), 58 pp.; Leonid Savel’ev, Di nakht fun dem ratn-tsuzamenfor (The night of the Soviet conference) (Kharkov-Kiev, 1932), 70 pp.  She was a member of the Association of Revolutionary Jewish Writers in Ukraine and signed its declaration (Kiev, May 1927).  Several of her poems, primarily from her first period as a writer, were included in Ezra Korman’s Yidishe dikhterins (Jewish women poets) (Chicago, 1928).  During WWII she was in Central Asia.  She was last living near Kiev.

Sources: Y. Nusino, in Di royte velt (Kharkov) 9 (1926); Ezra Korman, Yidishe dikhterins (Jewish women poets) (Chicago, 1928), pp. 305-9, 347-48; N. Rubinshteyn, Dos yidishe bukh in sovetn-farband 1932 (The Yiddish book in the Soviet Union, 1932) (Minsk, 1933), no. 612, see index; N. Mayzil, Dos yidishe shafn un der yidisher shrayber in sovetnfarband (Jewish creation and the Yiddish writer in the Soviet Union) (New York, 1959), p. 128; Chone Shmeruk, comp., Pirsumim yehudiim babrit-hamoatsot, 1917-1961 (Jewish publications in the Soviet Union, 1917-1961) (Jerusalem, 1961), see index; information from Y. Birnboym in New York.
Khayim Leyb Fuks

[Additional information from: Chaim Beider, Leksikon fun yidishe shrayber in ratn-farband (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers in the Soviet Union), ed. Boris Sandler and Gennady Estraikh (New York: Congress for Jewish Culture, Inc., 2011), p. 203.]

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