Samuel Menashe (1925-2011) was born in New York City, the son of Russian-Jewish immigrant parents. He served in the US infantry during the Second World War, and afterwards studied at the Sorbonne in Paris. He returned to New York in the 1950s where, apart from frequent sojourns in Britain, Ireland and Europe, he lived in a tiny "cold water" apartment until a year and a half before his death – at the age of 85 – in 2011.
He was first published in Britain, thanks to Kathleen Raine, in 1961, before he achieved any recognition in America, where he remained a marginal figure over five decades. In 1996 a selection of his work was published in the Penguin Modern Poets series. In 2004 he became the first winner of the Poetry Foundation’s Neglected Masters Award, a prize that both paid tribute to his excellence and made reparation for the years in which his achievements were overlooked. His New and Selected Poems, edited by Christopher Ricks, was published by the Library of America in 2005. An expanded edition, published with Life Is Immense: Visiting Samuel Menashe, a film on DVD by Pamela Robertson-Pearce, was published by Bloodaxe Books in 2009.
Samuel Menashe (1925-2011): tribute on Bloodaxe Blogs
Books by Samuel Menashe