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Polina Barskova, Dmitry Kuzmin, Elena Mikhailik, Galina Rymbu, and Leonid Schwab
Tuesday, March 19, 2019 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm

Arts Cafe, Kelly Writers House, 3805 Locust Walk


supported by: CEC ArtsLink, The Department of English, The Department of Russian and East European Studies, The Program in Comparative Literature, The Sachs Program for Arts Innovation, Ugly Ducking Presse, and Writers Without Borders

organized by: Kevin Platt

Your Language My Ear is a translation symposium that brings together Russian and American poets, along with American scholars, translators and students of Russian poetry, for intensive translation of contemporary poetry from Russian to English and vice versa at the University of Pennsylvania. The third YLME symposium is scheduled for March 13-March 20 and will include events at Princeton University, our partner institution. Our guests for this iteration of the symposium include: Polina Barskova, Dmitry Kuzmin, Elena Mikhailik, Galina Rymbu, and Leonid Schwab. For more information, visit the project website.

POLINA BARSKOVA is an associate professor of Russian Literature at Hampshire College. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. She is the author of twelve collections of poetry in Russian, including her latest volume of selected poems Solnechnoe utro na ploshchadi (A Sunny Morning on the Square, 2018), and author of a collection of short stories entitled Zhiviye kartiny (Living Pictures, 2014), for which she was awarded the Andrei Belyi Prize (2015). Three collections of her poetry have appeared in English translation: This Lamentable City(2010), Zoo in Winter (2011) and Relocations (2013). She edited the anthology Written In The Dark, named Best Literary Translation into English for 2017 by the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and Eastern European Languages, and of two scholarly works in Russian: a reader on the Siege of Leningrad Blokada: svidetel’stva o leningradskoi blokade (2017) and a collection of conference papers Blokadnye narrativy (2017). Her first English monograph, Besieged Leningrad: Aesthetic Responses to Urban Disaster, was published in 2017.

DMITRI KUZMIN is a poet, translator, editor and organizer of literary projects. He was born in Moscow in 1968. He has taught at various Russian educational institutions, and in 2014 was visiting professor of Russian poetry at Princeton University. Kuzmin co-authored the first Russian textbook of poetry. He is the founder of the publishing house Argo-Risk (1993), the site Vavilon (1997), and the journal Vozdukh. He has been editor of a number of anthologies, including one of contemporary Russian LGBT poetry. He headed the first almanac of Russian haiku, Triton, and the first journal of LGBT literature in Russia, RISK, and also created the online directory New Map of Literary Russia and the gallery Faces of Russian Literature. He was honored for his organizational work in 2002 with the Andrei Bely Prize. His 2008 collection of poetry and translations was recognized with the Moskovskii schet prize for best debut book of the year. His own poetry has been translated into fourteen languages. Kuzmin has translated into Russian Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s Southern Mail, the works of the American poets e.e. cummings, Auden, Charles Reznikoff, C. K. Williams, as well as the works of Ukrainian, French, Belarusian, German, and Polish poets. Due to his opposition to the Russian political regime he has lived since 2014 in Latvia, where he has founded the Literature Without Borders project—an international poetry foundation and residency for translators of poetry. Since 2017, the project has been funding the Poetry Without Borders festival in Riga.

ELENA MIKHAILIK was born in Odesa in 1970. She graduated from Odesa State University, where she studied literature. In 1993 she emigrated to Australia and since that time resides in Sydney. She completed her Ph.D. at the University of New South Wales with a dissertation on “Varlam Shalamov: The Poetics of the ‘New Prose.’” She teaches translation at the University of New South Wales as well as at Macquarie University. She is the author of one collection of poetry, Ni snom ni oblakom (Not by dream or cloud, 2008), and her poems have been published in Vozdukh, Volga, Deti Ra, Arion, and other journals. Her scholarly monograph, Nezakonchennaia kometa. Varlam Shalamov: opyt medlennogo chteniia (Incomplete Comet: Varlam Shalamov, an Exercise in Close Reading), on the poetics and rhetoric of the Kolyma Stories, was recently published in Moscow.

GALINA RYMBU is a poetess, literary critic, curatrix, and philosopher from Lviv, Ukraine. Born in 1990 in Omsk, Siberia, Rymbu graduated from the Gorky Institute of Literature in Moscow and received a Masters in socio-political philosophy from the European University at Saint Petersburg. She is the co-foundress and curatrix of the Arkady Dragomoshchenko Poetry Prize for young Russian-language poets. She teaches at the St. Petersburg School of New Film and has organized seminars dedicated to feminist literature and the theory of “F-writing.” She is on the editorial board of the poetry series Novye stikhi (Poriadok Slov Publishing House). Her poetry has been translated into English, German, Spanish, Swedish, Italian, Polish, and Latvian, and has been published in the journals Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie, Vozdukh, Translit, Snob, n+1, Arc Poetry, The White Review, Berlin Quarterly, Music&Literature, Asymptote, and Powder Keg among others. She has published five books of poetry, including one in English translation. She was the 2017 poet laureate of the Poetry Without Borders festival in Riga, and participates in festivals, conferences, and seminars all over Europe.

LEONID SCHWAB was born in Bobruysk, Belarus in 1961. He graduated from Moscow State Technological University and has lived and worked in Orenburg and Vladimir. Since 1990 he has lived in Jerusalem. His work has been published in the journals Zerkalo, Solnechnoe spletenie, Dvoetochie, and in the anthology Vse srazu. He is the author of the poetry collections Poverit’ v botaniku (Believing in Botany, 2005) and Vash Nikolai (Your Nikolai, 2015). Schwab has been recognized with the Andrei Bely Prize (short-listed in 2004, laureate in 2016).