Agi Mishol is one of Israel’s most prominent and popular poets, and the author of 16 volumes of poetry.
Mishol was born in Romania in 1947 to Hungarian-speaking Holocaust survivors. When she was four-years old, her family immigrated to Israel and settled in Gedera. After completing her BA and MA degrees in Hebrew Literature at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Mishol launched a literature and creative-writing teaching career, at Ben-Gurion University, Tel Aviv University, and The Hebrew University (where she was Poet-in-Residence in 2007), among other institutions. In 2006, she served as the artistic director of the Jerusalem International Poetry Festival, and since 2011, she has led the Helicon School of Poetry in Tel Aviv. She lives in Moshav Kfar Mordechai, where she grows peaches, persimmons, and pomegranates.
The topics of Mishol’s poetic spectrum encompass flora and fauna, varied and colorful landscapes, love and romance, powerful eroticism, and the observation of the human condition. Her writing balances lyric precision and accessibility to the readers, combining everyday language and colloquial expression with inventive linguistics. Infused with irony and humor, her poems are intimate and personal yet extensive in their human insight. Mishol’s work centers on the bond between humans and the environment, the changing seasons and the circles of nature and life, while resonating the anxieties and pains of Jewish history and reflecting on contemporary Israeli society.
Mishol’s poems have been widely translated and published in books and various anthologies around the world. Some of her poems were composed by various Israeli musicians.
Her accolades include the Zbigniew Herbert International Literary Award (2019), the Newman Prize for life achievement in literature (2018), the Italian LericiPea Award (2014), and the Israeli Prime Minister and Yehuda Amichai literature prizes (1995 and 2002, respectively). Mishol was awarded three honorary doctorates – from Tel Aviv University (2014), the Weizmann Institute of Science (2016), and Bar-Ilan University (2018).