by George J. Dance

Alter brody

Alter Brody (1895-1981). Courtesy Jewish Theater Austria.

Alter Brody (1895-1981) was a Jewish American poet and prose writer.[1]


Brody was born in Kartushkiya-Beroza in the Ukraine. He emigrated to the United States with his family at a young age. At the age of 16 he was submitting poetry to the New York Times, and advertising his services in it as a poet and journalist.[1] In 1915 he began contributing work to Outlook, Atlantic Monthly, Seven Arts, and The Dial.[2]

A poem of his published in the Times, "Ballad of the Iron Cross," drew considerable reader interest, and attracted the attention of anthologist Louis Untermeyer.Untermeyer began including Brody's work in his anthologies, and helped him to publish his debutt collection, A Family Album, in 1918.[1]

In the 1920s Brody began to devote himself less to poetry, becoming a promoter of Yiddish-language literature, and pro-Soviet propaganda. He also became an apologist for the Soviet Union.[1]

In the 1930s he was a frequent contributor to The Nation, The New Republic, and the American Mercury.

In 1934, the Jewish Telegraph Agency reported that Brody was compiling a "mounumental and definitive anthology of Yiddish literature in English translation," all of which Brody would personally translate. The JTA described him at the time as "a short, stocky, nearsighted individual, erudite and scholarly in speech."[2]

His son, Daniel J.B. Mitchell, was a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles.[1]


There was a renewal of interest in Brody's poetry in the 1970s, when his work was included in 2 anthologies of Jewish poetry: a 1974 collection edited by Daniel Walden, and an anthology in 1980 edited by Anthony Rudolf and Howard Schwartz. Rudolph also wrote an essay on the poet, "Who is Alter Brody?" That in turn led to his discovery by an Austrian-based editor, Herbert Kuhner, who has been promoting Brody's work, including compiling his collected poems. "This great poet is waiting to assume the place in American and world literature reserved for him," Kuhner has stated. "I have a feeling that we're going to help get him there."[1]




  • The U.S.S.R. and Finland: Historical and political facts and documents. New York: Soviet Russia Today, 1939.
  • War and Peace in Finland: A documentary survey. New York: Soviet Russia Today, 1940.
  • Behind the Polish-Soviet Break (with introduction by Corliss Lamont). New York: Soviet Russia Today, 1940.


  • Lamentations: Four folk-plays of the American Jew. New York: Coward-McCann, 1928.

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy WorldCat.[3]

See alsoEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 George Wallace, "In Search of Alter Brody", Poetry Bay, Winter 2006-2007. Web, May 26, 2015.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Alter Brody, Preparing New Anthology of Yiddish Work, Sees Epoch Art at an End," Jewish Telegraph Agency, January 18, 1934. Web, May 26, 2015.
  3. Search results = au:Alter Brody, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc. Web, May 26, 2015.

External linksEdit

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