“I Am the Daughter of Lot”

Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Bracha Serri was born in 1942 in San’a, Yemen, and brought to Israel in a mass exodus of Jews from Yemen soon after the State was established. She often adopts the first person voice of a Yemenite woman, crushed between an oppressive patriarchal background and the discriminatory nature of her everyday life, as in the poem “Dish.”

Serri studied linguistics and Hebrew literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In addition to her writing, Sari established her own publishing house, the Or HaGanuz publishing house. Her books are known for their innovative design. Her own poetry is intertextual, not only for its Biblical references, but for its dialogue with Yeminite culture, feminism, politics, as well as religion.

Text:
Bracha Serri, “Aliza Says,” translated by Rachel Zvia Back. The Defiant Muse. Hebrew Feminist Poems from Antiquity to the Present. Ed. Shirly Kaufman, et al. New York: The Feminist Press, 1999.

Bracha Serri, “No More Important Men,” translated by Yaffah Berkovits Murciano, Nashim: A Journal of Jewish Women’s Studies & Gender Issues, Indiana University Press, Number 11, Spring 5766/2006

Bracha Serri, “I am the Daughter of Lot,” “Jerusalem and San’a,” “To Hold the World,” trans. Yonina Borvick and Ammiel Alcalay & “Dish,” translated by Yaffah Berkovits Murciano, Keys to the Garden. New Israeli Writing. Edited by Ammiel Alcalay, San Francisco: City Lights 1996.

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