Poet Naomi Replansky was born in the Bronx, where her working-class parents raised her. During the 1930s and 1940s, she was a member of the Communist Party, and her poetry draws on leftist themes, Jewish history, and oral and folk traditions. Her first book, Ring Song (1952), was nominated for a National Book Award and won her admirers such as George Oppen. Replansky published slowly over the next decades. Her books include the chapbook Twenty One Poems Old and New (1988) and the full-length collections The Dangerous World: New and Selected Poems 1934–1994 (1994)and Collected Poems (2012), which won a William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America.
Replansky was a translator of Bertolt Brecht in the 1950s, a friendship she believes alerted the FBI to her political beliefs. Though modest in her output, Replansky has been an important figure for poets such as Philip Levine and B.H. Fairchild, who said of her work, “Replansky has become the master of a Blakean music radically unfashionable in its devotion to song-like meters and the reality and politics of working-class experience.” Replansky’s long-term partner is Eva Kollisch, a writer and professor emerita at Sarah Lawrence College. They live in New York City.