Poet, novelist, editor, and critic Babette Deutsch was born and lived much of her life in New York City. She began to publish poems in journals such as the New Republic while a student at Barnard College, where she earned a BA. Two years after her graduation, she published her first poetry collection, Banners (1919).
Aligned with the Imagist movement, Deutsch typically composed compact, lyrical pieces using crisp visual imagery. Many of her poems are ekphrastic responses to paintings or other pieces of visual art. Deutsch is the author of 10 collections of poetry, two of which are self-selected volumes of her collected work: Collected Poems 1919–1962 (1963) and The Collected Poems of Babette Deutsch (1969).
Deutsch also published four novels, six volumes of children’s literature, four books of prose on poetry, and numerous translations, and edited Poems of Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1967). With her husband, Avraham Yarmolinsky, Deutsch translated Alexander Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin and Alexander Blok’s The Twelve, edited several anthologies of Russian and German poetry, and compiled two story collections for children.
Deutsch taught at the New School for Social Research and Columbia University, where she also received an honorary doctorate.