portrait of Roy Hasan

Roy Hasan

Roy Hasan was born in Hadera in 1983, a Mizrachi, lower-class development town. He was a cook during his military service and in civilian life afterwards. His work was not intended from the outset as a rebellion against the elitist Ashkenazi, left wing political and literary establishment, but recognised as such by the media, such as the cultural supplements of newspapers like Ha’aretz. Hasan himself has said on blogs and in interviews that he writes for his father and his neighbours, not for poetry lovers or academia. He says his inspiration comes from New York hiphop like the Wu Tan Clan, jazz and the films of Jarmusch and Pasolini, as well as the Israeli Mizrachi singer Ofer Levi. He received the Bernstein Prize for young writers for ‘The Dogs That Barked In Our Childhood Were Muzzled’ (2014). He says he has learned from American hiphop to impose on his texts the ‘jagged beats and fragments of audio from records from the 50s to the 90s and sounds from the environment where they and I grew up’.

Poems by Roy Hasan