Sunday, 11 August 2019


ESTER SHUMYATSHER (ESTHER SHUMIATCHER) (December 1899-December 21, 1985)[1]
            She was a poet, born in Homel, Byelorussia.  She was the wife of Perets Hirshbeyn.  She moved with her family in 1911 to Calgary, Canada.  She received her education in English-language schools.  In 1918 she roamed with her husband across the most diverse places in the world.  She lived in New York, Los Angeles, and then again New York.  Her first literary efforts were in English.  She debuted in print in Yiddish in 1920.  Her first poems were published in the anthology Albatros (Albatross) (Warsaw, 1922).  She contributed to: Hamer (Hammer), Inzikh (Introspective), Frayhayt (Freedom), Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves), Idishe velt (Jewish world), Royte velt (Red world), Tsukunft (Future), Almanakh (Almanac) in Israel, and Kalifornyer yontef bleter (California holiday sheets), among others.  Her poetry also appeared in: Moyshe Shtarkman, Hamshekh-antologye (Hamshekh anthology) (New York, 1945); Nakhmen Mayzil, Amerike in yidishn vort (America in the Yiddish word) (New York, 1955); Shmuel Rozhanski, Di froy in der yidisher poezye (Women in Yiddish poetry) (Buenos Aires, 1966); Joseph Leftwich, The Golden Peacock (New York, 1961); and Joseph Milbauer, comp., Poètes yiddish d’aujourhui (Contemporary Yiddish poets) (Paris, 1936).  She also published a number of essays—on Mani Leyb, Yehoash, and others.
            In book form: In tol, kindershpil in dray bilder (In the valley, a children’s play in three scenes) (New York: Idish, 1920), 62 pp.; Pasn likht, a kinder-velt in finf bilder (Streaks of light, a children’s world in five scenes) (New York: Workmen’s Circle, 1925), 48 pp.; In shoen fun libshaft, lider un poemes (In the hours of love, poetry) (Vilna: B. Kletskin, 1930), 284 pp.; Ale tog (Every day) (New York: Erd un heym, 1939), 152 pp.; Lider (Poems) (Los Angeles, 1956), 156 pp.  She died in New York.

With her husband

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 4; Shmuel Niger, in Tsukunft (New York) 9 (1932); Yankev Rodak, Kunst un kinstler, ophandlungen iber undzere klasiker un batrakhtungen vegn dem etsem fun literatur oykh miniatur kriṭikn iber bikher un zayere shrayber (Art and artists, essays on our classic writers and considerations of literature itself, also miniature criticism of books and their authors) (New York, 1955); Meylekh Ravitsh, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (December 19, 1958); Y. Birnboym, in Afn shvel (New York) (March-April 1965); Salomon Kahan, Literarishe un zhurnalistishe fartseykhenungen (Literary and journalistic notes) (Mexico City, 1961), pp. 103-10; Avrom Lis, In skhus fun vort (By virtue of the word) (Tel Aviv, 1969), pp. 62-65; Yeshurin archive, YIVO (New York).
Sh. Apter

[1] Various birth years have been given.  Shumyatsher herself gave 1903.

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