Elisha Porat was a Hebrew poet and writer who said he’d never thought about writing poetry until he was a solider in the War of Yom Kippur in 1973. The war and even the death of Porat’s father inspired him to begin writing poetry non-stop. According to an interview with poet Ward Kelly, Porat did not write about politics or anti-war, but the human aspects of the war. He wrote about the soldier and his experiences and feelings. He fought in three wars as a solider in the Israeli army.

Porat won the 1996 Israel’s Prime Minister’s Prize for Literature. He wrote books in prose, poetry and even some specifically for children. The author published over 20 volumes of poetry and fiction. At least three of his books have been translated into English.  The Messiah of LaGuardia is a collection of six stories of modern Israeli life. Payback the stories of the people who are connected and affected by the 1982 War of South Lebanon. Episode is a semi-biographical novel about the life and work of film director Arieh-Leopold Friedman-Lahola.

Porat was born in 1938 in a kibbutz in Palestine-Eretz Yisrael or pre-Israel and near the city of Hadera. His family was considered pioneers and he explains that he was a second generation of the state of Israel. Before his death in March 2013, he lived and worked as a farmer near his parents’ original tent erected in the 1930’s.

Read Interview with Elisha Porat


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