MORRIS BASIN (BASSIN) (March 15, 1889-July 10, 1963)
Born in Nivkes, Homlyer region, Byelorussia. He studied in religious elementary school, with his subsequent education self-acquired. Under the influence of his mother, he early on began to read early Yiddish literature, subsequently—thanks to his grandfather, a book peddler—he acquainted himself with storybooks. In 1907 he was drafted into the military. He attempted to spread revolutionary propaganda among his fellow soldiers, he was exposed, he deserted, and he escaped to the United States that same year (1907). He began writing poems in 1908. His first published piece appeared in Arbeter (Laborers) the following year. From 1910 he contributed to: Fraye arbeter shtime (Free voice of labor), the anthology Literatur (Literature), Ignatov’s collection Shriftn (Writings), Naye heym (New home), Varheyt (Truth), Tog (Day), and Yidisher kemfer (Jewish fighter)—in which he published songs, poems, essays, children’s stories, and verse. Books: Antologye, 500 yor yidishe poezye (Anthology, 500 years of Yiddish poetry), two volumes, with annotations by Ber Borochov (New York, 1917), 600 pp., second edition (1922); Amerikaner yidishe poezye (American Yiddish poetry), an anthology in one volume (New York, 1940), 601 pp.
Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; N. B. Minkov, in Inzikh (December 1940); Shmuel Niger, in Tog (December 1940); B. Glazman, in Fraye arbeter shtime (1941); H. Leyvik, in Tog (1941); Dr. A. Mukdoni, in Morgn-zhurnal (September 1940); M. Yafe, in Yidisher kemfer (February 7 and 14, 1941); Algemayne entsiklopedye (General encyclopedia), vol. 5 (New York, 1944); H. Rogoff, in Firverts (November 24, 1940).