New Series No. 20 - 2002
Bella Akhmadulina was born in Moscow in 1937. She is of partly Tatar origin. She came to prominence as one of the ‘New Wave’ poets of the so-called Thaw period, after Stalin’s death, being at one time married to Yevtushenko. Her first collection appeared in 1962. She was later criticised as being “too intimate” and was expelled from the Writers’ Union. Akhmadulina was awarded the State Prize for Literature in 1989. She lives in Moscow.
Liana Alaverdova was born in Baku, Azerbaijan. She graduated in
history from Azerbaijan University and worked at the Institute of
Philosophy and Law of the Azerbaijan Academy of Sciences. Her poems, translations from English and Azerbaijani into Russian, essays, and articles have been published in Azerbaijan, Israel and in the USA to which she emigrated in 1993. She received the Korchak Award in Azerbaijan. In 1991 for her cycle of poems about Yanosh Korchak, teacher and humanist who was killed in Poland in the Second World War. Alaverdova is also the author of two plays. She lives in Brooklyn and works as a Librarian at Queens Public Library.
Vera Anserova (pseud. for Natalya Tishchenko) was born in 1958, in Donetsk. She graduated from the Medical College in Donetsk and lives and works in Makeevka, Donetsk region.
Mariya Avvakumova was born in 1943, in Arkhangelsk region. A graduate of Kazan University’s Department of Journalism, she has worked as a journalist in Uzbekistan and Tatarstan. She has also taken part in geological expeditions in Baikal and Kamchatka. Her poetry collections include: Severnye reki (Northern rivers), 1982 and Iz glubin (From the depths) in 1990. Avvakumova lives in Moscow. Her poems have appeared in Novy mir (e.g. ‘Baltic Meditations’) and in a number of anthologies.
Polina Barskova was born in 1976 in Leningrad. Since 1998 she has been a graduate student at Berkeley, University of California. Barskova has published several collections of poetry, her first at the age of fifteen: Christmas (1991). Another four collections of poetry followed, the last two being Evradei and Orfika and Arias. Barskova writes: “I wrote poetry only in Russian and I write a lot. I study and relate to the world around me in English and carry in my head smatterings of Latin and Greek, French and Czech. I am seriously interested in film. At this time, on my desk is lying a book by Bakhtin, probably the main hero of my future (EBZh [God permitting] – as Tolstoy said) dissertation.”
Tatyana Bek was born in Moscow, in 1949, into the family of the
celebrated writer, Aleksandr Bek. She graduated from Moscow State University, from the Department of Journalism, and has worked as a bibliographer and editor. At present she teaches a poetry seminar, at The Gorky Literary Institute in Moscow. Bek is a contributor to Voprosy literatury and Obshchaya gazeta. She has received prizes awarded by the journals Znamia and Zvezda and the All-Russian Golden Gong Award. She is the author of six collections of poetry.
Larisa Berezovchuk was born in 1948 in Kiev. She is a graduate of the historical department of the Kiev Conservatory and completed graduate studies at the Leningrad Institute of Theatre, Music and Cinematography. She has taught in the Kiev Theatrical Institute and has been writing poetry since 1990. After Chernobyl, she moved to St Petersburg, where she still lives. She is also the author of a number of articles on Aleksandr Gornon (see Internet).
Marina Boroditskaya was born in Moscow, in 1965. She graduated from the Moscow Institute of Foreign Languages. She works as a guide, translator and teacher of English. She has published in magazines since 1978. She is better known as a translator of English (and French) poetry, including Donne, Burns, Chesterton and Kipling. She is the author of many books for children and her own first poetry collection was published in 1994. The second appeared in 2002. She works for Radio Russia and
lives in Moscow.
Ekaterina Boyarskikh was born in 1976. She lives in Irkutsk. She is a graduate of the philological department of Irkutsk University, specialising in the history of the Russian language. She is a winner of the national Debyut Prize for 2000 for her text “Echo of women”. Her work is hitherto unpublished.
Vera Chizhevskaya was born in 1946, in Belorussia. She lives in
Obninsk, where she works as a journalist. She has published a collection of poetry, Chekanka (1990).
Svetlana Chulkova was born in 1958, in Moscow. She is a graduate of the Moscow Pedagogical Institute of Foreign Languages. Chulkova’s poetry has appeared in a number of Russian periodicals, such as Istoki and Poezya.
Svetlana Den’gina was born in 1968 in Kuibyshev (now Samara). She graduated from Kuibyshev University. She lives in Samara.
Regina Derieva was born in 1949 in Odessa. She has lived in Karaganda and in 1991 emigrated to Israel. She now lives in Sweden. Her poetry has been translated into German, Bulgarian, Ukrainian and English. She has published three collections of poetry in Russian and one in English The Inland Sea (1999) from which the present selection has been taken. Brodsky wrote of her poetry: “You, Regina, are indeed a great poet. For the poem “Mne ne tam khorosho” (“I don’t feel at home where I am”), yours only by name and by craft. The real author is poetry itself. It is nearer to you than your pen is to paper. I have seem nothing like it either in Russian or in English poetry . . .”
Marina Dolia (b. 1951, Kiev) writes of herself: “Her family is a genetic product of Kiev at the beginning of the twentieth century. She absorbed a puritan stoicism and humility in the face of the inevitable. Her wisdom, such as it is, is simply what has survived from the old generation. As for poetry, she was first inspired by the ballads of Vasily Zhukovsky. Her first mentor, so to speak, was Innokenty Annensky. Born at the beginning of the 50’s she was automatically marginalised. She graduated from Kiev University’s Department of Mathematical Linguistics and was interested in cybernetics as well as theatre. Brodsky’s poetry became for her a model for overcoming the fear of being. Her distinguishing features are that she is an eternal student, a good friend to her friends, and capable of total empathy.”
Irina Ermakova was born in 1951, in Crimea. She graduated from the Moscow Institute of Transport Engineers, specializing in bridges and tunnels. For twelve years she worked as a designer, since when she has held various positions. At present she is freelancing as a literary editor, translator, and adapting stories for radio etc. Her first publication was in Za Rodinu! in 1987. She has published in Literaturnaya gazeta, Arion, Oktiabr, Druzhba narodov etc and is the author of three collections of poetry: Provintsiya [Provinces] (1991); Vinogradnik [Vineyard] (1994); Steklyannyi sharik [Glass sphere] (1998).
Galina Ermoshina was born in the Saratov region, in 1962. She is a graduate of the Kuibyshev Institute of Culture and works as a librarian. She lives in Samara. Ermoshina has published many collections of poetry and was awarded a prize at the Moscow Prose-Poetry Festival in 1999. She translates contemporary American poetry.
Zoya Ezrokhi was born in 1946 in Leningrad and graduated from the Technological Institute. She has written poetry from the age of four. Her poetry, especially on the subject of cats, has appeared in many magazines and anthologies. Her most important collection, Just in Case, was published in 2002.
Elena Fanailova was born in 1962, in the Voronezh district. She
practised as a doctor and taught at Voronezh University. She is the
author of three poetry collections, and of a “Theatrical Novel” with
Aleksandr Anashevich. She was awarded the Andrei Bely Prize in 1999. Fanailova is the Moscow correspondent of Radio Liberty.
Nina Gabrielian was born in 1953, and lives in Moscow. She is a
graduate of the Moscow Institute of Foreign Languages. She writes
prose and criticism, as well as poetry. She also translates contemporary poetry of the East. From 1994-7, Gabrielian was chief editor of the feminist journal, Preobrazhenie (Transformation). From 1996-8, she was an editor of Vestnik Zhenshchina i kultura (Bulletin of Woman and Culture). She now directs an education programme for women, The Independent Women’s Forum.
Mariya Galina was born in 1958 in Tver. Her childhood and adolescence was spent in Odessa. She is by training a biologist. Her first publication was in Yunost, in 1991. In 2000-1 she was a regular columnist (‘Poetry Non-Stop”) for “Literaturnaia gazeta”. Dmitry Kuzmin write: “Marina Galina’s poetry is distinguished by its range, from Church Slavonic to the terminology of science, with an intermixture of Yiddish and Ukrainian. She recreates the unique and virtually lost social dialect of the Russian- Jewish intelligentsia of Ukraine, the only example of this in modern Russian poetry.”
Anna Glazova was born in Dubna, Moscow region, in 1973. She was educated at the Moscow Architetural Institute and the Berlin Techniscsche Universität, as well as the University of Illinois, Chicago and Northwestern University, Chicago, where she is a doctoral student in comparative literary studies. Her work is to be found on various websites and she has participated in the Franz Kafka scholarly project and the online journals Speaking in Tongues and Text.only.
Natalya Gorbanevskaya was born in Moscow in 1936. Expelled from Moscow University, she graduated from the philological department of Leningrad University. She was arrested in 1968 for protesting against the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia. The circumstances of Gorbanevskaya’s life in the Soviet Union is described in the article by Kublanovsky printed here. She now lives in Paris and works for the paper Russkaya Mysl’, for which she regularly writes on topical themes. She also regularly publishes poetry collections. A selection of her early work, translated by Daniel Weissbort, was published by Carcanet in 1972. Typecast as a “political poet”, Gorbanevskaya’s is, in fact, one of the most distinct voices of contemporary Russian poetry, combining the
folk-inspired modernism of Tsvetayeva with the narrative clarity of
Nina Gorlanova was born in a village in the Perm district. She is a
graduate of Perm State University and the author of two books of prose. Her work has appeared in several journals, including Daugava, Avrora, Oktiabr, Ural. She lives in Perm.
Lydiya Grigoryeva was born in 1945, in the village of Lysy, in Voroshilov region of Ukraine. She is a graduate of Kazan University and has worked as a schoolteacher and journalist. Grigoryeva lived for many years in Moscow, and now lives in London with her husband, the poet and translator Ravil Bukharayev. She has published numerous collections of poetry and has been nominated for the 2002 Booker Prize for her poetic text, ‘The Russian Wife of an English Gentleman’.
Faina Grimberg was born in 1951. She is a playwright and graphic artist, as well as poet. By training she is a philologist and Slavist. She has published a collection of poetry, Green Weaver and more recently Stikhi o Chechne (Poems about Chechnya).
Elena Ignatova was born in Leningrad. She writes prose as well as
poetry. Her poetry appeared in samizdat and from 1975 in Russian
publications abroad. In 1976 a book was published in Paris and another in Leningrad, in 1989. In 1992 Nebesnoe zarevo (Celestial glow) was published in Jerusalem. Ignatova’s poetry has appeared widely in Russian and foreign periodicals and is represented in several anthologies of twentieth-century Russian poetry. In 1997 Zapiski o Peterburge (Notes on Petersburg), on the history of the city from the eighteenth to twentieth centuries, was published in St Petersburg.
Nina Iskrenko was a leading underground poet in Moscow until her untimely death from cancer in 1995. Her performances of her work and her participation in various artistic “happenings” made her a central figure in the alternative culture of late Soviet and early post-Soviet Russia. Her poems are distinguished by a bold mix of themes, from the political and prosaic to the frankly sexual, and of tone, from the audacity of informal conversation to philosophical strivings after the sublime. Her early ‘Hymn to Polystylistics’ stands as a manifesto of this selfconscious amalgamation. Iskrenko carefully divided her work into volumes, which have continued to appear since her death.
Olga Ivanova was born in Moscow in 1965, and is a graduate of the Gorky Literary Institute. Her first publication was in Novy Mir in 1988. She has also published in Kontinent and other periodicals. She has occasionally published under the pseudonym Polina Ivanova.
Svetlana Ivanova was born in Leningrad in 1965, and is a graduate of the Art School and the Gorky Literary Institute in Moscow. She is an artist and critic, as well as a poet. She has published three collections of poetry and has appeared in many periodicals, especially Zvezda and Arion. She has also edited an anthology of Russian émigré poetry (Russian Atlantis). Ivanova lives in Moscow.
Ina Kabysh was born in Moscow, in 1963. She studied at the Pedagogical Institute and worked as a school teacher. Her poetry has appeared in Znamya, Druzhba narodov, and Novy mir. Her first individual collection was published in 1994.
Katia Kapovich was born in Kishinev, in 1960. She lives and teaches in Boston. Her first book Day and Night of the Angel was published in Israel in 1992, and the poems below, written in the 90’s come from that book. She also writes fluently in English.
Svetlana Kekova was born, in 1951, in Sakhalin. She lives in Saratov. Trained as philologist. Among her influences is the early poetry of Nikolay Zabolotsky. Kekova teaches in the Pedagogical Institute and has been widely published in all leading journals.
The well-known poet Vladimir Gandelsman writes (Ogonek, No. 7,
1997): “Kekova’s interest in Zabolotsky’s work is no accident. This has less to do with a similarity of poetic means, than with an existential tendency to return to the first principles. For Kekova the task is so urgent that the traditional formula, i.e. to look at life through a prism – will not do. The poet stubbornly looks THE OTHER WAY, trying not to surrender to the optimistic illusions of real life, which – the author is convinced – conceals the mystery.” Kekova is not a modish poet. Her serious and even solemn relationship to her own life contrasts sharply with that daring which, in epidemic proportions, characterises the work of so many contemporary versifiers.”
Olga Khvostova was born in 1965 in Maili-Sai Sai, Oshsk region. She used to live in Dushanbe. Khvostova is trained as a teacher of Russian language and literature and has published poetry in a Dushanbe periodical and also in London. In 1990, she emigrated to Gulkevichi, in the Krasnodarsk region. She works wherever she can.
Mariya Kildibekova was born in Moscow in 1976. Her poetry has been published in a number of magazines, including Arion. A graduate of the Moscow Literary Institute, she lived for several years in Yemen and Libiya. She has worked as a journalist.
Nina Kossman, born in Moscow in 1959, emigrated in 1973, and lives in New York. A bilingual Russian-American poet, she has published two books of poetry in Russian, Pereboi (Moscow, 1990) and Po pravuyu ruku sna (Philadelphia, 1996), and a collection of short stories about her Moscow childhood, Behind the Border (New York, 1994). Her work has been translated into several languages. Her fiction won a UNESCO/PEN Short Story Award in 1995. She has translated two books of Marina Tsvetaeva’s poetry and is the editor of Gods and Mortals: Modern Poems on Classical Themes (OUP, 2001). Two plays have been produced in New York City.
Irina Kovaleva, trained as a philologist, is Professor in the Department of Classics, Moscow State University. She has published over seventy articles on Ancient and Modern Greek Literature, and Russian Literature, as well as translations from ancient and modern languages (Seferis, Elytis into Russian; Brodsky and Sedakova into Greek). She has written commentaries on works of Classical authors published in Russian, including editing Joseph Brodsky’s Kentavry. Antichnye siuzhety (Centaurs. Classical subjects; St Petersburg, 2001). A collection of her own poems, V proshedshem vremeni, was published in Moscow in 2002.
Ella Krylova was born in 1967, in Moscow. Her first publication was in Znamia in 1991. She has published widely in Druzhba narodov, Zvezda, Yunost and in Russian periodicals in France and the USA. She has published six collections of poetry. Since 1993, she has been living in St Petersburg.
Marina Kudimova was born in Tambov, in 1953. She graduated from Tambov Pedagogical Institute. She was influenced by Tsvetaeva and was published in Novy mir and Znamya after Glasnost. Kudimova is the author of three poetry collections. She lives outside Moscow.
Inna Kulishova was born in 1969, in Tbilisi. She graduated from Tbilisi University. Her doctorate, on Joseph Brodsky, was completed in 1998. Brodsky had a high regard for Kulishova’s poetry, which she has been writing since the age of six. She has published one collection of poetry.
Yuliya Kunina was born in 1966 in Moscow. She is a graduate of the philological department of Moscow State University. Her first book was published in 1991. In addition to scholarly articles, she has published translations of seventeenth-century English poetry. Her own poetry has appeared in many journals and anthologies. The poets to whom she feels closest are Khodasevich and Derzhavin. She is working on a doctorate on translation theory at New York University.
Evgeniya Lavut was born in 1972 in Moscow and graduated in Romance and Germanic Languages, Moscow State University. Her first published book, in 1994, was entitled Gleb the Good Gentleman Landowner, about King David, Foma and Erema, Luther and Others.
Elena Lazutkina was born in 1975, in Eisk, Krasnodar region. She
studied in the St Petersburg Institute of Film and Television. She lives
in Moscow and hands out flyers in the street about foreign-language
Inna Lisnianskaya was born in Baku, in 1928. Her first publication was in 1948 and her first collection of poetry appeared in 1957. In 1960 Lisnianskaya moved to Moscow; several more books were published. After her participation in the Metropol almanach, in 1979, her books were published only abroad (France and USA). In recent years she has published several more collections and appears regularly in all the leading Russian literary periodicals. Lisnianskaya is married to the poet Semen Lipkin.
Sveta Litvak was born in 1959 in Kovrov. She is a graduate of the
Ivanovo Art Institute. In Moscow she has worked in the Soviet Army Theatre as a scene-painter. Her work has appeared in a number of exhibitions of young artists and in 1999 she had a one-man show. She is a member of the Moscow Writers Union. In 1996, with Nikolay Baitov, she founded a literary club for the performance of poetry. Litvak has published two collections: Raznotsvetnye prokazniki [Motley mischievous children] (1992) and Pesni Uchenika [Songs of a pupil] (1994), as well as a prose book, My Journey to the East (1998). She is a regular contributor to Znamia and Arion.
Olga Martynova was born in 1962, in Siberia. She grew up in Leningrad and graduated from the Leningrad Pedagogical Institute. Since 1991 she has lived in Germany with her husband, the poet and playwright O Yurev. She has published two poetry collections in Russian and one in German and has written numerous critical essays and reviews for the German press. In 2000 she was awarded the Hubert Burda Prize.
Larisa Miller was born in 1940. She is a graduate of the Moscow Institute of Foreign Languages. Her first collection appeared in 1977, but her poetry has been in print since the mid-Sixties. She has published eight books of prose and poetry. Miller lives in Moscow.
Tatyana Milova was born in the Moscow region in 1965, and graduated in journalism from Moscow State University. She has worked as an editor, night watchman and boiler-man. Her first publication was in 1989. Her work has appeared in Petropol, Yunost and Arion. She has also published a volume of poetry.
Elizaveta Mnatsakanova was born in 1922 in Baku. She studied at Moscow University (philology) and at the Moscow Conservatory (piano and music theory) and subsequently earned a living writing articles and books on music. Her first literary-artistic texts date from the late 1940s. In 1975 she emigrated to Vienna, where she now lives. Soon after her arrival in Vienna she adopted the pen-name Netzkowa. Her poetic works are characterized by rich paranomasia and quasi-musical forms involving repetition and development of word and phrase kernels. Memory and death are prominent themes in her poetry.
Yunna Morits was born in Kiev, in 1937, and was evacuated from there at the time of the German invasion in 1941. She graduated from the Gorky Institute of Literature in Moscow, in 1961. Her first collection appeared in Kiev, in 1957. In 1956 she had participated in an Arctic expedition, which profoundly affected her. Besides many collections of poetry, Morits has published several books of verse for children and translated a good deal, including a volume of poems by the Jewish poet Moisei Teif. After Glasnost’ she began to publish short prose works as well, including memoirs. She attended the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa and has read at Poetry International in London. Morits lives in Moscow, where she continues regularly to publish groups of poems and to draw, sometimes using a technique developed by herself employing cigarette stubs. She was recently awarded the Triumf Prize.
Negar (Negar Hasan-Zadeh) was born in Baku. She graduated in philology from Baku University and is fluent in four languages: Russian, Azeri, Turkish, and English. In 2000, in Baku, she published her first book of poetry in Russian, which includes poems from her teenage years and early twenties. In 2001 she became the youngest member of the Azerbaijan Union of Writers. Since 2000 Negar has made her home in London. Her first book, in England, On Wings Over The Horizon, was translated by Richard McKane (Caspian Publishing). In 2001, this volume was awarded the Azerbaijan Academy’s National Public Prize.
Olesia Nikolaeva was born in 1955, in Moscow. She started writing poetry at the age of seven, prose at the age of sixteen, and began to publish at the same age. She is a graduate of Moscow’s Gorky Literary Institute where she teaches a course in the history of Russian religious thought. Her first collection, The Garden of Miracles (1980), was followed by several collections of poetry and prose. She has been widely published especially in Arion, Znamia and Novy mir and has participated in a number of international festivals. In 1998, she was awarded the TöpfferPrize.
Rea Nikonova (Anna Tarshis) was born in 1942, in Eisk and grew up in Sverdlovsk, where she studied music, returning to Eisk in 1975, and from there emigrating to Germany in 1998. She and her husband, Sergei Sigei produced the multimedia samizdat journal Transponans (36 issues from 1979 to 1987). Perhaps the premier avant-garde poet of Russia, she has invented and writes in an enormous variety of forms and styles, ranging from gesture poems and elaborately gridded texts to short lyrics and zaum. She has compiled a multi-volumed System which attempts to survey and exemplify all possible kinds of poetry.
Vera Pavlova was born in 1963, in Moscow. She graduated from the Schnittke College of Music and the Gnesin Academy, specialising in the History of Music. Up to the age of 18 she studied to become a composer. She also worked as a guide in the Shaliapin Museum and published essays on music. For about ten years she sang in a church choir. She began writing poetry at the age of twenty, after the birth of her first daughter, publishing from the age of twenty-four when she was pregnant with her second. The first selection of her poetry appeared in the journal Yunost. Her first collection appeared in 1997, followed by no fewer than five other collections, the last containing 800 poems, written over a period of eighteen years. Pavlova’s celebrity dates from the appearance
in the paper Sevodnia of no fewer than 72 poems (with a postscript by Boris Kuzminsky), which gave rise to the rumour that she was a literary hoax. Her poetry was published in many papers and most of the major journals. Pavlova also directs “Zodiak”, a literary workshop for children.
Aleksandra Petrova writes: My biography is short for the moment: two books, two land changes, two daughters. I studied in Tartu and for me it is important.
Liudmila Petrushevskaya was born in 1938 and attended Moscow University. She worked as a journalist, 1961-70, and has also worked as a radio reporter, teacher, editor, and translator (from Polish). She came to prominence during the Gorbachev years when her uncompromising depictions of the seamier side of life began to be published. She was shortlisted for the Russian Booker Prize for her dark family saga, The Time: Night, 1992. Best known of course for her starkly realistic prose and drama, Petrushevskaya is also well known in the world of cinema. She took to poetry comparatively late. Her ‘Karamzin: Village Diary’, which also show her preoccupation with with monologue, self-absorption, isolation, appeared in Novy mir, in 1994 and a full version was published
in St Petersburg in 2000.
Olga Postnikova was born in 1943 in Evdakovo, Voronezh region. She lives in Moscow and is a graduate of the Moscow Institute of Chemical Technology. She has worked as a restorer of old buildings and churches. She is the grand-daughter of a Russian priest who perished in the camps. Postnikova has been published in many magazines and anthologies including Novy mir and Znamia. A collection of poetry, Stikhi, appeared in 1993.
Irina Ratushinskaya was born in Odessa in 1954. She graduated from Odessa University and taught at the Odessa Pedagogical Institute. In 1976, Ratushinskaya was arrested for dissident activity and sentenced to seven years in a strict-regime prison. A collection of poems was published in 1984 by International PEN, with an Introduction by Joseph Brodsky. This helped to focus attention on her case. She was released in 1986 and left for England, where her poetry was published by Bloodaxe. She returned to Russia in 2001. Her poetry has been translated into every European language and she has published many collections of poetry and prose, including a chronicle of her prison ordeal. Ratushinskaya has won many international awards.
Tatyana Retivova was born in New York in 1954, studied poetry with Richard Hugio at the University of Montana, and then with Joseph Brodsky at the University of Michigan. She writes poetry in both English and Russian and has been living in Ukraine for over seven years.
Olga Sedakova was born in Moscow, in 1949. She first appeared in print at the age of eleven. Sedakova is a polyglot translator (Eliot, Pound, Hardy, Claudel, Rilke, Petrarch, Horace and Dante) and a celebrated essayist. In the late 80s her poetry appeared in unofficial journals in Moscow and Leningrad. She is perhaps the leading confessional Christian poets writing in Russian today, but some critics complain that her work shows little interest in the feminist literary tradition. Sedakova enjoys the distinction of have been the only Russian Poet-in-Residence, at a British University (Keele). She is the first and, so far, only poet to receive the Vatican Prize for Literature, awarded in 1999.
Evelina Shats was born in Odessa and has lived and worked in Italy for many years. She writes poems in Italian and Russian. An artist and performer, essayist, journalist and critic, theatre director etc, she has published widely in Italy, Russia and elsewhere. She has been a regular contributor to Corriere della Sera, as well as to TV and radio shows. Shats is Vice-president of the international Consortium for Art Masterpieces (strategies and new technologies for culture) in Moscow. She has exhibited object-books, limited editions, visual poems and conceptual works.
Tatiana Shcherbina was born in Moscow in 1954. She is a graduate of Moscow State University. Five collections appeared in samizdat, as well as a novel. In 1989 she represented alternative (“second”) literature at the Poetry International in Rotterdam, where she met Joseph Brodsky and Derek Walcott. Brodsky encouraged Walcott to translate Shcherbina’s poem ‘About Limits’, which is published here for the first time, together with the drafts. In 1989, Shcherbina’s poems began to be published in the official Soviet press. She worked for Radio Liberty in Munich in 1991 and from 1992-97 lived in Paris, working for Radio Liberty. Shcherbina speaks fluent French, writes poems in French as well as Russia and has translated a number of French poets into Russian. In 1994 she was awarded a scholarship by the French Minister of Culture. Her own poetry has been widely trnslated. She returned to Russia in 1997 and now lives in Moscow, in 2001 becoming deputy editor
of the journal Vestnik Evropy (European messenger).
Elena Shvarts has long been acknowledged as one of the most interesting poets in contemporary Russia, and after several decades of publication, she continues to impress her readers with her ever-changing work. She is a prolific, compelling poet who mixes the skepticism of post-modern sensibilities with the haunted primitivism of ancient Slavic folk belief. Her work emerged from the Petersburg artistic underground of late Soviet Russia, and she continues to explore its themes of marginalization, poverty, and commitment to authentic, dangerous utterance. The poems translated here by Stephanie Sandler are among her most recent, and they pay tribute to and memorialize her mother, Dina Shvarts, who died in 1998.
Mariya Stepanova was born in Moscow in 1972 and has written poetry from early youth. Her first publication was in Yunost in 1988. Stepanova has also appeared in Znamya. She has published three collections of poetry. She was shortlisted for the Andrei Bely Prize last year.
Darya Sukhovei was born in 1977 in Leningrad and graduated from St Petersburg University. She is a poet and the Literary Curator of the the Internet project “The St Peterburg Literary Guide”, with information about literary life in St Petersburg. Sukhovei is the author of two poetry collections.
Olga Sulchinskaya was born in 1966 in Moscow. She graduated from Moscow State University and has published poems in Arion, Znamya and Novy mir as well as a chapbook of poems.
Vitalina Tkhorzhevskaya was born in Sverdlovsk in 1971. Her first poems appeared in samizdat and in the journal Ural. Since then she has published three collections of poetry, most recently Smirennyi gnev (Meek wrath, Moscow, 1997). She lives and works in Ekaterinburg.
Elena Ushakova was born in 1945 in Leningrad. She graduated from Leningrad University. Ushakova is a philologist, critic, essayist, as well as poet. Her main field of studies is the theory of poetic speech and she has written numerous articles and a book on the subject. She has published two collections of poetry and was awarded the Severnaya Palmira Prize in 1999.
Ekaterina Vlasova was born in 1976 in Zlatoust. She has published poetry in Uralskaya nov and Nesovremennye zapiski. A collectiona appeared in 1998. She now lives in Chelyabinsk.
Tatyana Voltskaya was born in Leningrad and graduated from the
Krupskaya Institute of Culture. For a short while she worked in the
Institute’s library, afterwards as a guide in the Pushkin Museum in
Pushkino. Poet, member of the St Petersburg Union of Writers, author of three collections, as well as critical essays, which have appeared in leading journals: Znamia, Novy mir, Oktiabr, Druzhba narodov, Zvezda, and Neva. Her poetry has been translated into English, Italian, Dutch, Swedish and Finnish.
Voltskaya began working as a journalist in 1987-88 on Petersburg (at that time still Leningrad) Radio, with programmes on early twentiethcentury Russian philosophers, journals, contemporary writers and poets. She is a member of the St. Petersburg Union of Journalist and since 1992, has been a correspondent for the Petersburg paper Nevskoe vremia; she has also contributed to Novaya gazeta, published in Petersburg, the BBC in London (a religious journal Voskresenie); in Moscow articles have appeared, mainly, in Literaturnaya gazeta, Vremia i my and the journal Znamia; in Paris, in Russkaya mysl. Since 2000 she has been a correspondent of the Svoboda radio station (Radio Liberty).
The focus of her articles and interviews has been culture: religion, as
well as literature and art. But she has also written on more public
themes, in particular such subjects as anti-Semitism, racism, the imperial mentality, war, military problems, democracy and free speech.
As regards her principal interest, poetry, hard as it may be to define
one’s own creative position (for this it is better to approach from
outside), nevertheless, she would probably associate herself with the
Petersburg school of poetry. As Akhmatova once said of her own poetic generation, that it sprang from the “The Cypress casket” (having in mind a collection of poems by Innokenty Annesky), so Voltskaya can say, that her contemporaries were all children of the Silver Age of Russian culture. In her development such poets as Mikhail Kuzmin, Aleksandr Blok, Nikolai Zaboltosky were of the utmost importance. Mandelstam and Brodsky were permanent features of this poetic landscape.
This succession is no accident – in itself it distinguishes between
writing and postmodernism, culture, unifying and eliminating stylistic
and linguisticstrata. The Petersburg school seems to Voltskaya a kind island, threatened but not yet overwhelmed by the waves of postmodernism.
Furthermore, it seems to her that one should write not so as to
demonstrate craftsmanship, which has just attained great heights, but – however jejune this may sound – because one is a powerful spiritual and emotional impulse demands it. Without this, as she sees it, art simply ceases to exist.
Liudmila Zubova was born in 1946 and graduated from Leningrad
University where she is now a professor, teaching the history of the
Russian language. She wrote most of her poetry in the 60s and 80s. At present she is researching contemporary poetics and has published two major studies on Marina Tsvetaeva.
- 10th Muse
- Angel Exhaust
- Blithe Spirit
- Brando's hat
- Brittle Star
- Cannon's Mouth, The
- Coffee House, The
- Dream Catcher
- Floating Bear, The
- French Literary Review, The
- Frogmore Papers, The
- Global Tapestry
- Grosseteste Review
- Homeless Diamonds
- Interpreter's House, The
- Journal, The
- Lamport Court
- London Magazine, The
- Modern Poetry in Translation
- Monkey Kettle
- Neon Highway
- New Welsh Review
- North, The
- Obsessed with pipework
- Oxford Poetry
- Painted, spoken
- Paper, The
- Pen Pusher Magazine
- Poetry Cornwall
- Poetry London
- Poetry London (1951)
- Poetry Nation
- Poetry Review, The
- Poetry Salzburg Review
- Poetry Scotland
- Poetry Wales
- Private Tutor
- Purple Patch
- Rain Dog
- Reach Poetry
- Review, The
- Rialto, The
- Second Aeon
- Seventh Quarry, The
- Smiths Knoll
- Strange Faeces
- Tabla Book of New Verse, The
- Tolling Elves
- Ugly Tree, The
- Wolf, The
- Yellow Crane, The