SHLOYME SHVARTS (SELWYN S. SCHWARTZ) (February 5, 1907-1988)
He was a Yiddish and English poet, born in Kobrin, Lomzhe district. His original surname was Tsharni (Charney). He attended religious primary school and a Polish public school. From 1920 he was living in the United States. He graduated from the University of Chicago, a special course in journalism and literature, and he lived on in Chicago. He debuted in print with a poem in Idisher zhurnal (Jewish journal) in Toronto. He contributed work to: Idisher kuryer (Jewish courier) and Shikago (Chicago) in Chicago; Tsukunft (Future), Idisher kemfer (Jewish fighter), Veker (Alarm), In zikh (Introspective), Getseltn (Tents), Oyfkum (Arise), Feder (Pen), Svive (Environs), and Zayn (To be) in New York; Kheshbn (Accounting) in Los Angeles; and Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves) in Warsaw. He co-edited Chicago’s Midvest-mayrev antologye (Midwest-West anthology); Brikn (Bridges); and Literarishe zamlungen (Literary collections) (1943-1948). His work also appeared in: Yitskhok-Elkhonen Rontsh, Amerike in der yidishe literatur (America in Yiddish literature) (New York, 1945); and Joseph Leftwich, The Golden Peacock (New York, 1961). His poetry volumes include: Bloymontik (Blue Monday) (Chicago: L. M. Shteyn, 1938), 109 pp.; Amerike (America) (Chicago: M. Tseshinsḳi, 1940), 143 pp.; Goldene goles (Golden exile) (Tel Aviv: Hamenorah, 1971), 131 pp.; Vundn un vunder (Wounds and wonder) (Tel Aviv: Hamenorah, 1975), 156 pp.; Brondzener mabl (Bronze deluge) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1981), 160 pp.; Harbstiker fayer (Harvest fire) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1984), 200 pp. He also published poetry in a series of English-language periodicals and brought out five collections of poetry in English: The Poet in Blue Minor (Prairie City: J. A. Decker, 1942), 141 pp.; Passages of Refuge (Prairie City: J. A. Decker, 1942), 62 pp.; Preface to Maturity (Prairie City: J. A. Decker, 1944), 77 pp.; Letters to My Unborn Son (Sewanee, 1947), 7 pp.; Horn in the Dust: Poems (New York: Twayne, 1949), 63 pp.
As Yankev Glatshteyn noted: “Shvarts is a poet of…the spiritual line. When he succeeds, he affords the special line with a flash of tremendous internal conviction. He possesses…a love for special words that illuminate from far away.”
Sources: Arn Leyeles, in Inzikh (New York) 43 (1938); Yankev Glatshteyn, in Idisher kemfer (New York) (July 14, 1950); Yisorel Emyot, in Forverts (new York) (December 19, 1971).
[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 518.]