Participant Bios 2011

Featured Russian Language Poets:

Polina Barskova is Assistant Professor of Russian Literature at Hampshire College. She has been a published poet since the age of nine, authoring six books of poetry in Russian to date. The list of her scholarly publications includes articles on Nabokov, the Bakhtin brothers, early Soviet film, and the aestheticization of historical trauma. She is currently working on a project entitled “Petersburg Beseiged: Culture of the Aesthetic Opposition.”

Igor Belov: was born in 1975 in St. Petersburg and currently lives in Kaliningrad. He is the author of two books of poetry: All That Jazz (Ves’ etot jazz, 2004) and Music Not For Fat People (Muzika ne dlya tolstykh, 2008). His original poems and translations of Polish, Ukranian and  Belarussian poetry have been published in a number of literary journals, including Znamya, Noviy Mir, Oktyabr, Continent, Vozdukh and others.  He describes his writing as “emotional urban lyric poetry,” saying, “Some critics claim that I have evolved from metaphorical surrealism to everyday grotesque, while others describe my work as expressive and stylish ‘jazz poetry.’  I think both are right.” Belov is a member of the Russian Writers’ Union and Russian PEN  Center. He is the recipient of the Eureka! award (2006), two awards from the International  Voloshin Competition (2007, 2008), and scholarships from the Ministry of Culture of Russia  (2003), the Swedish Institute (2007), and the Ministry of Culture of Poland (2009). His poetry has been translated into Swedish, German, Polish, Estonian, Ukrainian and Belorussian.

Viktor Ivaniv was born in 1977 in Novosibirsk. He is the author of two books of prose:  Vinograd  City (Gorod Vinograd, 2003) and The Uprising of Daydreams (Vosstaniye gryoz, 2009), as  well the collection of poetry The Glass Man and the Green Record (Steklyanniy chelovek i  zelenaya plastinka, 2006). His writing has been published in Deti Ra, Vozdukh, Sibirskiye  Ogni, as well as a number of other journals and anthologies, and short-listed for the Debut Prize (poetry category) in 2002 and the Andrei Bely Prize (prose category) in 2009. Russian  writer and critic Danila Davidov says of Ivaniv, “His poetry reminds me of the wind, which has  been furled to the limit and turned into a coil spring, and is about to tear free from the structure imposed upon it. The magician – that is, the author – endeavors to constantly keep this wind in its place, his efforts are strenuous but invisible to the eye, carried out elegantly and at the same time firmly.” Ivaniv currently lives and works in Novosibirsk.

Semyon Khanin, a Russian-language poet, was born in Riga, Latvia in 1970. His original works have been published in Latvia, Russia, Czech Republic, Germany, and Ukraine. He is the author of two collections of poetry, Just Now (2003) and Missed Details (2008). His poetry has been translated into Latvian, English, Czech, German, Italian, Swedish, Estonian, and Ukranian. He is a participant in the literary project ORBITA, and editor of the almanac with the same name.

Artur Punte is a member of ORBITA, a creative collective of Russian poets and artists, and an advertising writer in Riga, Latvia. He is a graduate of the Gorky Literary Institute in Moscow. He has published in the journals DaugavaVavilonOrbita and others, and is the author of  two books of poetry.

Ksenia Shcherbino is a poet and prose writer. She studied translation at the Moscow State Linguistic University and received her MA from the Institute of European Policy at the European Council in Paris. Long-listed for the Debut literary prize in 2002 and 2003, her writing has been published in BabylonZnamya, Noviy Mir and  Vozdukh, as well as the collections  Anatomy of an Angel  (Anatomiya angela), Cradle of Brotherhood  (Bratskaya kolybel) and others. She describes her poetry as “myth-making, myth-poetry, combining storytelling elements from fairytale traditions and the culture of technology; purposeful grammatical distortion to achieve the “purity” of children’ speech; building a new cultural code that allows to unfold a person’s cultural background into a collection of stories, like a kaleidoscope.” Shcherbino works as a cultural correspondent for the Kultura television channel and has translated several books on cultural studies.  She is also a visual artist who has had several solo exhibitions in Paris and Moscow.

Feodor Swarovski was born in Moscow in 1971.  He emigrated to Denmark in 1990 at the age of 19, but returned to Moscow in 1997.  Swarovski is a journalist who has worked for the Russian television channels ORT and NTV as well as print media, including the Vedomosti newspaper (a joint project of the Wall Street Journal and Financial Times). His poems have been published in the journals Kreschyatik, Vozdukh, Noviy Mir, SHO and the Russian Esquire, as well as many online publications. Swarovski’s first book of poetry Everyone Wants to Be a Robot (Vse khotyat byt’ robotami, 2007) received the Moskovskiy Schyot prize and was shortlisted for the Andrei Bely prize. He was short-listed for the Andrei Bely prize again in 2009 for his poetry collection Time Travelers (Puteshestvenniki vo vremeni). Swarovski’s poetry has been translated into English, Bulgarian, Danish, Polish, Slovenian and Ukranian. In 2008, he advanced the “New Epic” manifesto, the aim of which is to establish a new literary movement that redefines the relationship between the literary text and the author’s voice.

Sergej Timofejev is a member of ORBITA, a creative collective of Russian poets and artists, as well as a Riga-based journalist, advertising writer, and DJ.  Since the late 1980s, he has published in the journals RodnikMitin zhurnalVavilonZnamia, and others.  He is the author of  four books of poetry and was short-listed for the prestigious Andrey Belyi prize in 2002.

Poet/Scholar/Translator Participants:

Charles Bernstein is a poet and Donald T. Regan Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania.  Professor Bernstein teaches poetry and poetics, with an emphasis on modernist and contemporary art, aesthetics, and performance.  He is the author of three collections of essays and over twenty collections of poetry, including Girly Man (Chicago, 2006), With Strings (Chicago, 2001), Republics of Reality: 1975 – 1995 (Sun & Moon, 2000), Dark City (Sun & Moon, 1994), The Sophist (Sun & Moon, 1987; rpt Salt Publishing 2004), Islets/Irritations (Jordan Davies, 1983; rpt. Roof Books, 1992); and Controlling Interests (Roof, 1980). Hislibretto Shadowtime, for composer Brian Ferneyhough, was published in 2005 by Green Integer; it was performed as part of the 2005 Lincoln Center Festival.  Bernstein is the editor of several collections: Close Listening: Poetry and the Performed Word (Oxford, 1999), 99 Poets/1999: An International Poetics Symposium (boundary 2 / Duke, 1998), and The Politics of Poetic Form: Poetry and Public Policy (Roof, 1990), and the poetics magazine L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E, whose first issue was published in 1978. He is Editor of the Electronic Poetry Center and co-director (with Al Flireis) of PennSound.  He has collaborated painters Susan Bee, Mimi Gross, and Richard Tuttle on several artist’s books and projects. In 2001, he curated Poetry Plastique, a show of visual and sculptural poetry at the Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York.

Julia Bloch grew up in Northern California and Sydney, Australia, and now lives in Philadelphia, where she co-curates the Emergency reading series, works as an editor of the online poetics journal Jacket2, and is completing a PhD in English literature at the University of Pennsylvania. Her book Letters to Kelly Clarkson is forthcoming from Sidebrow Books; she’s published poems recently in Aufgabe, P-Queue, and Peacock Online Review.

Sarah Dowling is the author of Security Posture, which was published in 2009 as the winner of the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry. Her scholarly work, which has appeared in GLQ and Canadian Literature concerns contemporary multilingual poetry. A doctoral candidate in the English Department at the University of Pennsylvania, Sarah is international editor at Jacket2.

Eugene Ostashevsky is a Master Teacher in the Liberal Studies Program at New York University. He has published two books of poetry–Iterature and The Life and Opinions of DJ Spinoza—with Ugly Duckling Presse. His work as translator includes OBERIU: An Anthology of Russian Absurdism (Northwestern UP, 2006), a selection of 1930s underground writings by Alexander Vvedensky, Daniil Kharms and others in their circle.

Bob Perelman is a poet and Associate Chair of the English Department at the University of Pennsylvania.  He has published over 15 volumes of poetry, most recently The Future of Memory (Roof Books) and Ten to One: Selected Poems (Wesleyan University Press). His critical work focuses on poetry and modernism. His critical books are The Marginalization of Poetry: Language Writing and Literary History(Princeton University Press) and The Trouble with Genius: Reading Pound, Joyce, Stein, and Zukofsky (University of California Press). He has edited Writing/Talks (Southern Illinois University Press), a collection of talks by poets.

Kevin M. F. Platt is a Professor and Chair of the Program in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory and Acting Chair of the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Pennsylvania. He works on Russian poetry, representations of Russian history, Russian historiography, and history and memory in Russia. He is the author of History in a Grotesque Key: Russian Literature and the Idea of Revolution (Stanford, 1997; Russian edition 2006), and the co-editor (with David Brandenberger) of Epic Revisionism: Russian History and Literature as Stalinist Propaganda (Wisconsin UP, 2006).  He also edited and contributed translations to Modernist Archaist: Selected Poems by Osip Mandelstam (Whale and Star, 2008). His new book Terror and Greatness: Ivan and Peter as Russian Myths is forthcoming from Cornell UP imminently.

Ian Probstein is Assistant Professor of English at Touro College, New York. He is a bilingual English-Russian poet and translator of poetry, who writes poetry and on poetry. He is the author of seven books of poetry in Russian, one in English, and more than a dozen of books of translations, and has compiled and/or edited many other books and anthologies of poetry in translation. He was editor, commentator and lead translator of the Russian-English edition of Ezra Pound’s Poems and Selected Cantos (St. Petersburg: Vladimir Dahl, 2003). Also, he is author of many essays in several languages, most recently “Nature and ‘Paradiso Terrestre’: Nature, Reality and Language in Pound, Yeats, and Mandelstam” in The McNeese Review 46; and “The Waste Land as Human Drama Revealed by Eliot’s Dialogic Imagination” in Dialogism and Lyric Self-Fashioning, Jacob Blevins, ed. (Selinsgrove: Susquehanna UP, 2008).

Stephanie Sandler is Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Harvard University. She is the author of Distant Pleasures: Alexander Pushkin and the Writing of Exile (Stanford UP, 1989) and Commemorating Pushkin: Russia’s Myth of a National Poet (Stanford UP, 2003), and has was editor of several collections of essays, including Rereading Russian Poetry (Yale UP, 1999). Sandler recently translated The Russian Version: Selected Poems of Elena Fanailova (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2009) and is currently working on a series of essays on contemporary Russian poetry.

Michael Wachtel is Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Princeton University and is also affiliated with the Department of Comparative Literature at Princeton. His major areas of research are in Russian poetry (from the eighteenth century to the present), poetics, and Russo-German literary relations. His books include The Development of Russian Verse: Meter and its Meanings (Cambridge UP, 1998) and The Cambridge Introduction to Russian Poetry (Cambridge UP, 2004).

Matvei Yankelevich is a member of the editorial collective of Ugly Duckling Presse, the editor of the Eastern European Poets Series, and a co-editor of 6×6. He also teaches at Hunter College, Columbia University School of the Arts, Writing Division, and the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College. A poet and translator, he has published in Harpers, New American Writing, and the New Yorker. Recently, his translations of Daniil Kharms were collected in Today I Wrote Nothing: The Collected Writing of Daniil Kharms (New York: Overlook, 2007).

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