chana in her garden
CHANA BLOCH,
(1940-2017) was a poet, translator, scholar, and teacher. During her lifetime she authored six books of poems and six books of translations of Hebrew poetry both ancient and contemporary. She also authored a critical study on George Herbert. Bloch was professor emerita of English literature and creative writing at Mills College, where she directed the creative writing program.

Her latest book The Moon is Almost Full will be released in September 2017. Bloch had published five earlier poetry collections, Swimming in the Rain: New and Selected Poems, 1980-2015, The Secrets of the Tribe, The Past Keeps Changing, Mrs. Dumpty, and Blood Honey. She was also the co-translator of the biblical Song of Songs, The Selected Poetry of Yehuda Amichai and his Open Closed Open, and Hovering at a Low Altitude: The Collected Poetry of Dahlia Ravikovitch.

Her work has been published in The New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, The Nation, The New Republic, and many literary journals, as well as Best American Poetry, The Pushcart Prize and other anthologies.

A selection of her book awards include the Poetry Society of America's Alice Fay di Castagnola Award for Blood Honey, selected by Jane Hirshfield; the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry for Mrs. Dumpty, selected by Donald Hall; the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation, together with Chana Kronfeld, for Open Closed Open; and the Book of the Year Award of the Conference on Christianity and Literature for Spelling the Word.

Among her honors are the 2012 Meringoff Poetry Award, two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, in poetry and in translation, a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Writers Exchange Award of Poets & Writers, two Pushcart Prizes, and the Discovery Award of the 92nd Street Y Poetry Center. Bloch has held residencies at the Bellagio Center for Scholars and Artists, the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, Hedgebrook, and the Djerassi Resident Artists Program.

Many of her poems have been set to music. Chana's Story, a song cycle by David Del Tredici, premiered at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Jorge Liderman's cantata, The Song of Songs, was performed by the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players and the UC Berkeley Chamber Chorus. Other composers who have set her work include Bruce Adolphe, David Fulmer and D'Arcy Reynolds. A staged version of her Song of Songs was presented by A Travelling Jewish Theater.

Bloch held degrees from Cornell, Brandeis University and the University of California at Berkeley. From 2007-2012 she served as the first Poetry Editor of www.persimmontree.org, an online journal of the arts by women over sixty.

She is survived by her husband Dave Sutter and two sons, Benjamin and Jonathan, from her marriage to Ariel Bloch.