Der neue Bereich unseres Portals macht es sich zum Anliegen, die internationalen Literaturszenen Berlins zu kartographieren, die handelnden Personen und ihre Schauplätze sichtbar und zugänglich zu machen. 
Die Entstehung der Rubrik wurde durch eine Förderung des Hauptstadtkulturfonds ermöglicht. 

Mati Shemoelof



This photo was taking as part of the Mizrahi Poetry exhibition in Israel
© Micha Simchon


Born: 11.7.1972
Birthplace: Haifa
Country of birth: Israel
Lives in: Berlin,

Source language: Hebrew, English, German
Target language: The world
Working language: Hebrew, English


I am an Arab-Jew born and raised in Haifa Israel. I am a writer, poet, activist, author and editor now based in Berlin Germany. My personal and artistic mission is to shine a light on injustice and discrimination and disrupt the status quo by using Syncretism in my writing and the events I produce. I look to the past and to the future in order to find fresh new solutions for the present and work to bridge existing cultural divides. Whether it's Mizrahi and Ashkenazi Jews in Israel, Israelis and Palestinians or Middle Eastern refugees and Europe. Syncretic art involves the merging or assimilation of several originally discrete traditions thus asserting an underlying unity and allowing for an inclusive approach to other cultures. I believe in the power of words and their ability to bring about lasting change and I hope that mine make a difference in some way.

My writing is diverse and eclectic. It includes poetry, plays, newspaper and articles, art exhibition content, short stories and more.

My works have been translated to several languages, including a recent bi-lingual [German-Hebrew] collection of poems (2019): “Baghdad - Haifa - Berlin: 40 ausgewählte Gedichte - Hebräisch-deutsche Ausgabe, mit einem Gedicht in arabischer Übersetzung”. My first book of articles “An eruption from the east: Re visiting the emergence of the Mizrahi artistic explosion and it's imprint on the Israeli cultural narrative 2006-2019“ published “Iton 77” publishers in Israel (2020). 

I am honored to have my works receive significant recognition, wining several prizes including “Best poetry book debut of the year” (National art trust of the Israel lottery 2001); Selected appearance of “What has become of Independence day” play in the Small-Bama festival of the University of Tel Aviv; Best poetry book of the year (Haifa Cultural Foundation 2006); Honorable mention in “Haaretz” Annual short story contest (2011); Winner of the Acum grant for advocating literature in Israel (2013) among others.

I have written for journalism In Israel, both online and in print. I was a contributing writer for “Israel Hayom”, one of the largest newspapers in the country, from its early days until moving to Berlin (2007-2014), writing both weekly columns and book reviews. I also wrote a blog on Mako’s site (Channel 2). After moving to Berlin I became a contributing writer for Haaretz newspaper, writing a column titled “Israeli in Berlin” for the culture section edited by Benny Ziffer. I currently write for Plus61J magazine. In addition I have written many articles for art exhibitions and catalogs, most notably at the Museum of Tel Aviv where my text on the artistic work of Avi Ganor has been exhibited. I also completed an article about the artistic work of the Amsterdam based artist Joseph Sassoon Semah participated in a conference discussing his work. Another interview with Semach was published on the Berliner Zeitung (2021).

Over the last ten years I’ve been part of the ongoing activism to raise the voice and rights and heritage of the Mizrahi people (Arab-Jews) in Israel and all over the world. I was active in the Mizrahi Democratic Rainbow (2004-2007) and part of “Ruh Jadida” (2011) and other initiatives. I coined the category of Third Mizrahi Generation in Israel. Lately I signed the Mizrahi petition against the nation law.

In Israel I was one of the founders of “Guerrilla Culture” (2007-2013), a movement that connected between social change advocacy and poetic creativity. This movement changed the face of the Israeli poetic sphere. It politicized it and published many anthologies and books. It gave a voice to writers like the famous poet Adi Keissar who published her first successful book with us, we also published the first anthologies of Ars Poetica events, Eyal Ben Moshe’s first novel, Meital Nissim’s poetry book, the viral play “Good Energies”, and more. I was also one of the founders of the Poets Union that strives to fulfill and protect poets rights.

After moving to Berlin I founded “Poetic Hafla” a group that has created literary, music & art performance events featuring a diverse collection of artists from all over the world. I am now working on a new literary project “Anu אנו نحن: Jews and Arabs writing in Berlin”.

Throughout the years I’ve taught, lectured and performed on many different stages. I was a lecturer in Minshar College in Israel. I also taught creative wiring at the Ron Vardi Center in Rishon LeZion in Israel. Now I am teaching creative Hebrew writing in Berlin and throughout Europe.

On 2021 my novel "The Prize" was published in Israel. It is my tenth book that got published. Now i am working its translation to German. In an interview with 'Der Tagesspiegel', i talked about my latest publications including "Bleiben oder widersteheh: Wem gehört die deutsche Kultur und andere Texte und Gedichte".

6 Questions

What brought you to Berlin? Love? World politics? Or was it a coincidence?

The poetry brought me to Berlin. I was invited on 2012 to a translation workshop. I fell in love by coincidence with a Berliner and we got married and waiting for our first child. So poetry and love collided with coincidence.

What do you love about Berlin?

The peace. It does not have a war with another country and it does not occupy another people. Other then that i love the relax way of life.

What do you miss in Berlin?

I miss what all the immigrants miss: their loved ones, family, friends, country of origin, the middle east climate and food and more other things.

What is your favorite spot in Berlin?

Tempelhofer Feld. It is a living creature.

Would you say you are a different person in Berlin? A different translator? And if yes, in what way?

Yes. Berlin has changed me quite a lot. I became more queer, in everlasting translations with the other people i meet.

Which existing literary work do you wish you had written?

"2666" by Roberto Bolanio.


2013, Acum grant for Israeli culture for the publication of the poetry book “The poetry that will never reach the shore”.

2022, The novel "The Prize" was on the final list of books nominated for the Shulamit Aloni's literary prize.

2022, Stipendienprogramm im Raumen von Neustart Kultur und VG Wort.

2022, “L’CHAIM - AUF EIN WORT|FESTIVAL“ - Zentrum für verfolgte Künste.

2022 My poems participated in the exhibition “Jüdisches Berlinerzählen. Mein, Euer, Unser?” kuratiert von Anja Siegemund, Eva Lezzi, Stefanie Höpfner. Stiftung Neue Synagoge Berlin – Centrum Judaicum.

2021, The Berlin Senate Grant for the “Middle East Union” festival.

2021, The Lyrik festival W:ORTE Innsbruck Festival. Austria.

2021, Acum foundation to promote Israeli art and literature for the publication of the novel “The Prize”.

2021, “Mygration” Festival in Berlin.

2020, Acum grant for Israeli culture for the publication “An Eruption from the East: Re Visiting the Emergence of the Mizrahi Artistic Explosion and it’s its Impront on the Israeli cultural narrative 2006-2019”.

2020, A full grant from the Lottery fund for literature for the publication “Acum grant for Israeli culture for the publication”.

2019, “Deutsche-Israelite Literaturetage". Boell Foundation and Goethe Institute.

2018, Hörspiel “Das künftige Ufer” WDR.

2018, National Lottery Art Trust Grant.

2017, Radical Jewish Festival – Maxim Gorki Theater.

2017, Musrara Mix festival. Jerusalem.

2017, LCB Berlin Sommerfest.

2016, Helicon International Literary Festival. Israel.

2016, Basel International Literary Festival. Switzerland.


Publications in german

Das kleine Boot in meiner Hand nenn ich Narbe

parasitenpresse, 2023

Warum Berlin

Parthasverlag, 2023

"Mitten im Bewerbungsgespräch" Magazine, 2022

Drei Gedichte

Signaturen: Forum für Autonome Poesie, 2022

“Dort, wo ich stehe”

Die Geste: Ausgabe der kalligrafischen Bibliothek Der Poesie, 2022

"Hebrst in Berlin"

Herzattacke I/2021: Literatur- und Kunstzeitschrift/ dreiunddreißigster Jahrgang., 2021


Herzattacke Magazine, 2021

“Wem gehört die deutsche Kultur”

“Jüdischer Salon am Grindel: Lockdown-Lektüren”, 2021

"Arbeit", "Auf der anderen Seite der Poesie, translated by Hanno Hauenstein. HERZATTACKE II: Literatur - und Kunstzeitschrift", "Sifnos", "Berlin"

HERZATTACKE II: Literatur - und Kunstzeitschrift, 2020


Aphorisma Verlag, 2020

Auf Seiten der Menschlichkeit

Hinter den Schlagzeilen Magazin für Kultur und Rebellion, 2020

sprachen: iii Broken German Gedichte

Signaturen: Forum für autonome Poesie, 2020

Vom Mittelmeer zur Ostsee, Gedenke, was das Vergessen dir angetan hat, Wandern lernen durch Dichten, (Aus unserem Küchenbrett), Gefahr

Herzattacke Magazine, 2020

“Die deutsche Sabichkultur”

Taahanat Niyar Verlag, 2020

Ausgewählte Gedicht: Vorabdruck aus Anlaß der Leipziger Buchmesse 2019

AphorismA - Berlin, 2019-08-30

Grand Tour: Reisen durch die junge Lyrik Europas.

Carl Hanser Verlag GmbH & Co. KG, 2019-03-15

... reißt die Mauern ein zwischen 'uns' und 'ihnen' (AphorismA Reihe Kleine Texte)

AphorismA, 2018-09-01

Gedichte: In Einem völlig zerstörten Dorf, bei der Vertreibung Jaffo, Wirklich, Wieso ich keine israelischen Liebesgedichte schreibe

AphorismA Berlin, 2018

Being Mizrahi in Berlin

Neofelis Verlag, 2017

Märchenland – Fairytale Land

Verlagshaus J. Frank | Berlin, 2010

Ein hebräischer Schriftsteller in Berlin: Über einen heilenden Desintegrationsprozess

Stadtsprachen Magazin, 2023

Zwischen Himmel und Mut

Quintus-Verlag, 2023
das Gedicht

Auszug Aus Einem Zyklus Von Fünf Poemen. Auszug aus dem ersten Poem: Vom Spinnen eines Königreichs der Armut in der Unterstadt der Poeise

Herattacke I/2022: Literatur- Und Kunstzeitschrift. Vierunddreißigster Jahrgang, 2022

Mensch und Natur

Roloff, Wolfgang, 2022


Worte & Welten: Anthologie, 2021

Durch das Jüdische Jahr

Hentrich und Hentrich Verlag Berlin, 2021

“für Avraham Suzkever”, “wir trafen…”, “Ausländerbehörde”

Europäisches Literatur Festival 3, 2021

„Ich habe hier die Freiheit gefunden, die ich brauchte“

Tagesspiegel, 2021

"Die Grenzen der Sprache bröckeln"

Aphorisma Verlag, 2020

"Mitten im Bewerbungsgespräch rutschte ich zur Seite"

Stadtsprachen Magazine, 2020

Bleiben oder Wiederstehen

Aphorisma Verlag, 2020
Kleine Text


Neofelis, 2020

Wie Netanjahus Sohn zum Helden einer antisemitischen deutschen Partei wurde

AphorismA, 2020

Was es bedeuten soll: Neue hebräische Dichtung in Deutschland

parasitenpresse, 2019-11-25

Bagdad - Haifa - Berlin: 40 ausgewählte Gedichte - Hebräisch-deutsche Ausgabe, mit einem Gedicht in arabischer Übersetzung

AphorismA, 2019-08-30

Was es bedeuten soll: Neue hebräiche Dichtung in Deutschland

parasitenpresse Verlag, 2019

Fremdgemacht & Reorientiert: jüdisch-muslimische Verflechtungen Broschiert

Yilmaz-Günay, 2018

Zwei Gedichte

der AphorismA, 2018


Literaturwerkstatt Berlin, 2012

Publications in original language

A Hebrew writer in Berlin: On a healing disintegration process

Stadtsprachen Magazine, 2023

An Eruption from the east: re-visiting the emergence of the Mizrahi artistic explosion and it's imprint on the Israeli Cultural Narrative 2006-2019

Iton 77 Publishers, 2020 Collection of Articles

Hebrew outside its sweet insides

Pardes, 2017 Gedichte

Remants of the cursed book

Zmora Bitan, 2014 Shorts stories

Why don't i write Israeli love songs

Nahar Sfarim Publishers, 2010 Poetry

Scar minimizer

Gwanim Publishers, 2001 Poetry

The Prize

Pardes / Haifa, Israel, 2021 A novel

Bagdad - Haifa - Berlin: 40 ausgewählte Gedichte - Hebräisch-deutsche Ausgabe, mit einem Gedicht in arabischer Übersetzung

AphorismA - Berlin, 2019 Poetry collection

Last tango in Berlin

Booxilla, 2014 Poetry

Appetite for hunger

Nahar Sfarim Publishers, 2013 Poetry

Poetry between Shemoelof and Hazaz

Yaron Golan Publishers, 2006 Poetry

Translated publications


LEMONDE DES VILLES // Jerusalem. (Little big book artist: peintures et poesies, Voltje Editions, France, 2021 Poetry

“Can’t Prostrate myself at my Grandmother’s Grave”:

Banipal 72: Iraqi Jewish Writers, London, 2021 Poetry

Four poems

The Bombay Review, 2020 Lyrik

Gaza II in "Requiem pour Gaza"

Colour gang publishers , 2019 Poetry Anthology

Five Poems

Ygdrasil, A Journal of the Poetic Arts, 2018 Gedichte

Memories from Haifa

short story project, 2018 Fiction

Two poems

Bag Literary, 2018 Gedichte

Five Poems

WORDS & WORLDS / WORTE & WELTEN, 2017 Gedichte

To the son of a whore

Consequence publishers, 2017 Fiction

Every Poison Holds Too Much Magic

Maarav Journal, 2016 Short Story

Me arrepiento del instante

De_canta_sión, 2016 Gedicht

The black river

The Bombay Review, 2016 Fiction

Jerusalem Celestial

Amadeus, 2015 Poetry

In an Entire Ruined Village and at the Jaffa Expulsion

Zeek Magazine, 2012 Poetry

“Can’t Prostrate myself at my Grandmother’s Grave”:

Banipal 72: Iraqi Jewish Writers, London, 2021 Poetry

“The state of contemporary poetry”, “danger”

Stadtsprachen Magazine/Berlin, 2020 Poetry

Four poems - Templehofer Park

Words and worlds magazine - / Worte & Welten - An Austrian bilingual magazine for migrant literature, Spring issue, 2020 Poetry

“The words of departure” appeared in „A wie Jüdisch: In 22 Buchstaben durch die Gegenwart.“

The Jewish Museum in Berlin, 2019 An Exhibition

Five Poems

Rigorous Magazine, 2018 Gedichte

The Berlin prize for Hebrew literature

De Gruyter, 2018 Fiction

Downstairs, from heavenly Aleppo

972 Magazine, 2017 Gedicht

Remembering your golden years: Elegy for George Michael

Issues Magazine, 2017 Gedicht

Creating a radical Hebrew culture — in the diaspora

972 Magazine, 2016 Artikel

How the social protests in Israel broke down national borders

972 Magazine, 2016 Artikel

The Black River

The Bombay Review, 2016 Short Story

The diaspora is an integral part of Hebrew literature

972 Magazine, 2016 Artikel

We Need Another Time Machine

Pardes Publishers, 2013 Short Story

Why Don’t I Write Israeli Love Songs

Fusion Big Bridge, 2011 Poetry


‘To Move within Foreign Language: What are the Characters of the Mizrahi Diaspora

Ahoti Publishing House, 2024 Literary Journal

Avodat Giluy

Guerrilla Culture Publishers, 2012 Journal

The Tent Poetry

Guerrilla Culture Publishers, 2011 Poetry Colletion

The Influence of the Palestinian Nacba on the Hebrew Poetry

Pardes Publishers, 2010 Academic

To Get Out!

Guerrilla Culture Publishers, 2009 Journal

Eastward: A Literary Journal, Issue 13.

Bimat Kedem Publishers, 2007 Journal

Echoing Identities

Am Oved Publishers, 2007 Articles

Eastward: A Literary Journal, Issue 12.

Bimat Kedem Publishers, 2006 Journal

Diversifying the ivory tower: First GenerationStudents Writing

Pardes Publishing House, 2022 Anthologie

Larochav Magazine

Guerrilla Culture Publishers, 2012 Journal

The Best Poems of Guerrilla Culture

Pardes Publishers, 2010 Poetry Colletion

We Will Not Leave: Photography and Poetry from Sheikh Jarrah

Guerrilla Culture Publishers and Activestills, 2010 Journal

Eastward: A Literary Journal, Issue 15.

Bimat Kedem Publishers, 2008 Journal

Eastward: A Literary Journal, Issue 14

Bimat Kedem Publishers, 2007 Journal


Guerrilla Culture Publishers, 2007 Poetry Colletion