Isaac Rosenberg – a Jewish poet, an English poet, a war poet, a painter-poet, a young poet, a great poet. Writers Elizabeth Cook and Anthony Rudolf explore his life and work, considering what he might have achieved had he not been killed in in the final months of World War One.
During the more than half a century since his earliest appearances in print, Anthony Rudolf has published many works in prose and verse, and also translated books, mainly poetry, from the French and other languages. As a literary essayist, he has written on authors as diverse as Balzac, Byron, Borges, George Oppen and several essays on Primo Levi. He has also written on the work of visual artists, including Paula Rego, R.B. Kitaj and Charlotte Salomon. In addition, he is a reviewer and obituarist and has contributed to Radio Three, Radio Four and — in English, French and Russian — the BBC World Service. Born in London in 1942, he still lives in the north-west of the city. His books include Jerzyk, a study of the diary of his second cousin, the youngest known suicide of the Holocaust.
Elizabeth Cook is a poet, novelist, and scholar. Her most recent novel, Lux (Scribe), links the Scriptural story of David and Bathsheba with 16th century England and a translation of the Psalms. She has long lived in East London and in the 1980s led a successful campaign for a plaque commemorating Isaac Rosenberg to be installed outside the Whitechapel Gallery. She has written essays on Isaac Rosenberg for the London Review of Books and Stand Magazine (Spring 2022).