Yocheved Bat-Miriam was born as Yocheved Zhelezniak in Keplitz, Belorussia in 1901.
In her youth, she taught herself to become a teacher. She was an independent character, and already at the age of 17 changed her family name. She chose the name Bat-Miriam as it was clear to her that she would become a poet, just as Miriam the sister of Moses was. She took pedagogic courses in the town of Kharkov and completed her studies at the Universities of Odessa and Moscow.
Her first poems were published in the journal "The Era" in 1922, while she was still living in the Soviet Union. She continued to send her poetry to Hebrew newspapers published outside Soviet Russia until she immigrated to Israel in 1928. Her early poetry was published in Israel in 1932 in the collection "Me-Rahok" (From Afar). The last edition was published in 1985, five years after her death.
Yocheved Bat-Miriam is considered to be one of the greatest contemporary Hebrew poets. Her poetry is difficult, coded, and is not easy to decipher. She was one of the forerunners of female Hebrew poetry, independent and self-aware, which was no less significant than the male Hebrew poetry of the period. She was in contact with the great Hebrew poets of her time including Natan Alterman, Rachel, Shimon Halkin, Avraham Chalfi, Avot Yeshurun, Avraham Shlonsky, Rafael Eliaz, and Abba Kovner.
Bat-Miriam was awarded the 1964 Bialik Prize and the 1972 Israel Prize for her work.
She died on January 7th, 1980.