Monday 28 July 2014


B. ALKVIT (December 7, 1896-February 11, 1963)
     Adopted name of Leyzer Blum, son of Sholem Blum.  He was born in Chelm, Poland.  He studied in religious elementary school, and at age twelve he was already a orphan.  He then left for Lublin, from there to Warsaw, and from thence he made his way to Vienna.  He arrived in the United States in 1914 and worked as a tailor in a shop.  His first poems appeared in Inzikh (Introspection), no. 2 (February 1920).  He published poems, stories, and literary essays—in Tsukunft (Future), Yidisher kemfer (Jewish fighter), Di feder (The pen), Fraye arbeter shtime (Free voice of labor), Undzer bukh (Our book), Kern (Kernel), Kultur (Culture) in Chicago, Hamer (Hammer), Yidish (Yiddish), Oyfkum (Arise), Kinder-zhurnal (Children’s journal), Tog (Day), Morgn-zhurnal (Morning journal), and Di prese (The press), among others.  He took part in the Khelmer yisker-bukh (Chelm memory book) (Johannesburg, 1955).  From 1926 he was a regular contributor to Morgn-zhurnal.  In the period 1934-1938, he served as a member of the editorial board of Inzikh.  His works include: Afn veg tsum perets skver (On the way to Peretz Square) (New Yoirk: Tsiko, 1958), 324 pp.; Lider (Poems) (New Yoirk: Tsiko, 1964), 99 pp.  He translated Arthur Schnitzler’s Casanovas Heimfahrt (Casanova’s homecoming) into Yiddish (New York, 1926), 206 pp.  In 1931 his work, Vegn tsvey un andere (About two and others) (New York), 80 pp., appeared in print.  His stories excelled in their themes and motifs of modern Jewish life in America and their expressionistic style.  He lived in New York until his death.

Sources: M. Shtarkman, Hemshekh-antologye (Continuation anthology) (New York, 1945); Z. Vaynper, Yidishe shriftshteler (Jewish writers) (New York, 1933); P. Viernik, “Undzer filshprakhike literatur” (Our multilingual literature), Morgn-zhurnal (New York) (February 22, 1931); M. Yafe, “60 yor yidishe poezye in amerike” (60 years of Yiddish poetry in America), Letste nayes (Tel Aviv) (February 12, 1954); B. Grobard, A fertlyorhundert (A quarter century) (New York, 1935); Anna Margolin, Dos yidishe lid in amerike (The Yiddish poem in America) (New York, 1923); A. Leyeles, in Inzikh no. 54 (New York) (April 1940).

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