Robert Whitehill


1947 –


Who is Robert Whitehill?

Robert Whitehill is an American Hebrew poet.

Robert Whitehill was born in 1947 in High Point, North Carolina, and grew up in Lubbock, Texas, where he attended Texas Tech University. Although he was raised with little Jewish identity, Whitehill was fascinated by Israel and Zionism. Starting at the age of 15, Whitehill studied Hebrew using self-help books and vinyl records, then found his first Hebrew conversational partner in a fellow Texas Tech student—an Israeli Arab. At age 21, Whitehill made his first trip to Israel, where he enrolled in a two-month intensive Hebrew course. Upon his return, Whitehill enrolled at University of Texas at Austin, where he received a Juris Doctor as well as a master's degree in English literature. He met his future wife, Susan Lilly, at the University, and married her in 1978.

During the 1970s, Whitehill wrote his first Hebrew poem, which was accepted by the now-defunct Hebrew periodical Hadoar. Whitehill entered into correspondence with Israeli author and playwright Aharon Megged and translated several of Megged's novels into English. Although Hadoar rejected his later poems, Megged helped Whitehill to get his work published in the Israeli daily newspapers Ha’aretz and Davar. In 1976, Whitehill translated his first book, the collection Rustic Sunset and Other Stories by Israeli screenplay writer and journalist Yitzhak Ben Ner. With the help of Israeli poet Simon Halkin, Israeli lyricist Yossi Gamzu, and Aharon Megged, Whitehill wrote his first poetry collection entitled Orvim Humim. It was published in Israel in 1977. Whitehill's second collection, Efes Makom, was published in Israel in 1981.

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United States of America
  • Texas Tech University
  • University of Texas at Austin

on July 23, 2013


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