Moshe Ibn Ezra (c. 1055–1135) is considered the finest craftsman of the Andalusian period and in many ways its representative poet, as he fulfilled the classical ideal of biblical purity of diction and made exemplary use of the rhetorical ornaments that he and his contemporaries adapted from the Arabic tradition. He was also the period's leading literary theoretician. Ibn Ezra exceled at short meditative lyrics and sensual verse, and he is highly regarded for his religious poetry, which skillfully blends Jewish religious and Arabic secular elements. Born and raised in Granada, he remained in that city after its Jewish community was destroyed by the Almoravid invasion from North Africa in 1090. Some five years later, perhaps because of a family scandal, he was forced to leave his home. He lived out the remaining forty years of his life wandering in bitter exile in the Christian north.
Peter Cole’s most recent book is Hymns & Qualms: New and Selected Poems and Translations (FSG). The author of four previous books of poems and many volumes of translations from Hebrew and Arabic, he has received numerous honors for his work, including an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature and a MacArthur Fellowship. A new collection, Draw Me After, is forthcoming from FSG in 2022. Cole divides his time between Jerusalem and New Haven.