(Download the full Bio in PDF)
Michal Govrin was born in Tel Aviv, the daughter of an Israeli pioneer father and a mother who survived the Holocaust. Working as a novelist, poet and theater director.
Govrin has published ten books of poetry and fiction. In 2010 she has been selected by the Salon du Livre of Paris as one of the most influential writers of the past thirty years.
Among her novels, The Name (HaShem, 1995 new edition, with a post-face by Yehuda Liebes, 2013), received the Kugel Literary Prize in Israel, and was nominated for the Koret Jewish Book Award in its English translation (Riverhead Books 1998; 1999). Snapshots (Hevzekim, 2002) was awarded the 2003 Acum Prize for the Best Literary Achievement of the Year, and s was published in English translation (Riverhead Books 2007) and French translation (Sur le vif, 2008 Sabine Wespieser. Editeur). Govrin's other books include Hold on to the Sun: Stories and Legends (1984), and three books of poetry, That Very Hour (1981), That Night's Seder (1989), and Words' Bodies (1991), and And So Said Jerusalem: Hymns and Poems, with original drawings by Orna Millo (2008). Govrin's generically innovative book of prose poetry The Making of the Sea: a Chronicle of Interpretation (1998, 2000), was published with original etchings by the leading Israeli artist Liliane Klapish, while Body of Prayer (2000), was printed in New York under the coauthorship of Jacques Derrida and David Shapiro, and a new version in Hebrew was pulished in 2013. An anthology of her short stories, poetry and personal essays, Hold On To the Sun, True Stories and Tales (2010), was edited by Judith G.Miller, with a long interview.
Govrin has edited her father, Pinchas Govrin's We Were As Dreamers, a Family Saga (2005). And, along with Menachem Lorberbaum, she is the founder and editor or the poetry series, Devarim, from Jerusalem.
Michal Govrin received her Ph.D. at the University of Paris for her thesis, Contemporary Sacred Theater, dealing with theater and religious ritual. Among the pioneers of Jewish experimental theatre, Govrin has directed Award winning performances in all the major theatres in Israel. Among her many theatrical achievements are a world premiere dramatization of Samuel Beckett's novel, Mercier and Camier, and the translation and direction of The Emigrants by Slawomir Mrojek, and of The Workshop by Jean Claude Grumberg. Her experimental performance, That Night's Seder was performed, in 1989, while her stage adaptation, Gog and Magog, based on Martin Buber's Hassidic novel, was created for the 1994 Israel festival, and is considered one of the groundbreaking works of contemporary Israeli theatre.
Govrin has published numerous nonfiction and personal essays, which have appeared in international journals and anthologies, in several languages. Among these are "The Journey to Poland", "The Case of the Jewish Biography" and "Martyrs or Survivors Thoughts on the Mythic Dimension of the Story War".
Now residing in Jerusalem, Govrin is married and has two daughters. Govrin is the academic chair of the Theater Department of The Emunah College, and teaches at the Tel Aviv University. She has taught at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Schechter Institute and The School of Visual Theater, presented an annual lecture at The Cooper Union School of Architecture in New York, and is a former Writer in Residence and Aresty Senior Visiting Fellow at the Center for the Study of Jewish Life at Rutgers University. In 2012 Govrin was nominated as full Professor. She directs the study group "Transmitted Memory and Fiction" at The Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem