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Remembering Helen Eisen

Helen Debrah Eisen, born in a Displaced Persons Camp in Stuttgart, Germany on March 17, 1946, died in New York on October 29, 2012.

Helen Eisen

She was an important poet of the first generation of children of survivors. She came with her parents to New York in 1950. I met Helen on Saturday, April 15, 1967 in the Sheeps Meadow of Central Park, New York amidst 400,000 others who had come to protest the Vietnam War. We were both undergraduate students. Within a month, the situation in the Middle East began to escallate towards war. In June 1967, having been together for less than two months, we left for Israel as civilian volunteers during the Six Days War. We spent the summer in Israel and after returning to the United States we were married in New York on January 28, 1968. We lived together in St. Louis with Susan Koppelman, a noted feminist author, her husband John and their son Nathan from 1974 to 1979. We were divorced in St. Louis in 1979.

Many of her poems are about her mother, father and extended family. The noted Holocuast Poet, Jon Gyzlowski has commented on her unique voice and vision. Unfortunately, little of her work is available online. The ISAR archives contains correspondence and unpublished poems from the early 1970s to 2000 and we will post here a sampling of her published and unpublished work.

Dr. Barry Mehler
January 9, 2013
Institute for the Study of Academic Racism

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