Yoel Hoffmann was born in Brasow, Romania in 1937. He is presently a citizen of Israel, and is Professor of Eastern Philosophy at the U. of Haifa. He has had a lifelong scholarly engagement with Hebrew literature, Western philosophy, and Japanese Buddhism. His is the winner of the first Koret Jewish Book Award. His books include The Heart is Katmandu, Bernhardt, The Christ of Fish, and Katschen & The Book of Joseph. Peter Cole's previous books of poems include Things on Which I've Stumbled (New Directions). Among his volumes of translation are The Poetry of Kabbalah: Mystical Verse from the Jewish Tradition and The Dream of the Poem: Hebrew Poetry from Muslim and Christian Spain, 950-1492. Cole, who divides his time between Jerusalem and New Haven, was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2007.
"Spectacular." -- The New Yorker "Hoffmann is not just a good writer but a great one, with the ability to find, in the moment-to-moment dislocation of daily existence, epiphanies of revelatory force. What Hoffmann has achieved is a kind of magic." -- David Ulin - Chicago Tribune "Hoffmann's subject is the miracle of this most ordinary thing, and his prose is its revelation and praise." -- Jenny Hendrix - Forward "Hoffmann's meandering is intensely personal, yet his hope that the cataloguing of thoughts and feelings will lead to some kind of larger understanding beyond the self is entirely universal." -- Publishers Weekly "Hoffmann writes in a language of miracles." -- American Book Review "Hoffmann's is an exile literature in exile from itself: self-consciously historicized, yet with none of its homage presented obviously. It's a miracle of Peter Cole's sinuous, sensitive English translation of Moods that Hoffmann seems even more 'himself': a magus, a sphinx, the Kohen of the koan, the Grand Rabbi of Kyoto-a genius." -- Joshua Cohen "Reading Moods is not unlike the experience of reading the fictions of Jorge Luis Borges, as it compels an immediate reassessment upon conclusion, and rewards an immediate rereading." -- Full Stop