PUSHKIN HOUSE RUSSIAN POETRY WEEK: The Soviet Union's Other Poets: Lipkin, Petrovykh, Slutsky & Tarkovsky

Much attention has been focussed for many years on Akhmatova, Mandelstam, Pasternak and Tsvetaeva - all of them poets with dramatic biographies. This has led us to neglect other fine poets - Semyon Lipkin, Maria Petrovykh, Boris Slutsky and Arseny Tarkovsky (father of the great film director) whose lives were less dramatic. All four supported themselves for much of their lives by translating and were able to publish their own work only relatively late in life. Stephen Capus, Robert Chandler, Boris Dralyuk and Yvonne Green and Katherine Young will read from their translations; Alexandra Berlina , Masha Karp and Irina Mashinski will read from their work in Russian.

Stephen Capus did research on Marina Tsvetaeva at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies in London. He has published poems, translations and reviews in various periodicals, including Modern Poetry in Translation and Acumen , and his translations of Samuil Marshak’s poems for children, with illustrations by Vladimir Lebedev, will be brought out by Tate Publishing in April 2013. The forthcoming Penguin Classics anthology will include translations by him of poems by Blok, Tsevetaeva, Boris Slutsky and Georgy Ivanov.

Robert Chandler is the main English translator of Vasily Grossman and Andrey Platonov. He has translated selections of Sappho and Apollinaire for Everyman’s Poetry. He has already compiled two anthologies for Penguin Classics: Russian Short Stories from Pushkin to Buida and Russian Magic Tales from Pushkin to Platonov . Together with Boris Dralyuk and Irina Mashinski he is compiling a third: Russian Poetry from Pushkin to Brodsky .

Boris Dralyuk holds a PhD in Slavic Languages and Literatures from UCLA, where he lectures on Russian literature. His work has appeared in various literary and academic journals. He is the translator of Leo Tolstoy’s How Much Land Does a Man Need (Calypso Editions, 2010) and co-translator of Polina Barskova’s The Zoo in Winter: Selected Poems (Melville House, 2011). He received the 2011 Compass Translation Award and, with Irina Mashinski, the 2012 Joseph Brodsky/Stephen Spender Translation Prize.

Yvonne Green’s grandparents were all from Bukhara, in what is now Uzbekistan. Her father was born in Berlin and raised in France; her mother was born in Egypt, and she herself in London. She read law at LSE and practised as a barrister. She has published one collection of poems, The Assay (Smith/Doorstop Books, 2010) and one book of translations, After Semyon Izrailevich Lipkin (Smith/Doorstop Books, 2011).

Irina Mashinski is a bilingual poet and translator. She has authored seven books of poetry in Russian, and her work has appeared in a variety of English-language literary journals and anthologies. She is a co-editor of the Cardinal Points literary journal and the winner of several literary awards.

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