Participant Bios 2015

Featured Russian Language Poets:

Shamshad Abdullaev was born November 1, 1957 in Fergana, Uzbekistan. He graduated from the Fergana Pedagogical Institute in 1979 with a degree in Russian literature. The founder of the “Fergana School” of Russophone poetry, he is the author of four books of poetry, including most recently Approach of Borderlands(2013) and two books of essays. In the early 1990s, he served as the editor of the literary journal Eastern Star. He was winner of the Andrey Bely Prize for poetry in 1993 and twice of the Russian Prize, in 2006 and 2013. He lives and works in Fergana.

Polina Barskova was born in Petersburg, Russia in 1976. She arrived to the United States in 1998 to enter Graduate School in Russian Literature at UC Berkeley. She has published eight books of poetry in Russian and three in English translation — This Lamentable City (Tupelo Press, 2010), The Zoo in Winter (Melville Press, 2011), and Relocations (Zephyr Press, 2013). Her recent book of prose Tableaux Vivants (2014), published in Petersburg, explores the possibility of a dialogue with historical trauma im/possible today for a Russian/American subject and agent of memory. Barskova teaches Russian literature at Hampshire College and divides her time between Amherst and Brooklyn.

Keti Chukhrov – ScD in philosophy, an associate professor at the Department of Art Theory and Cultural Studies at the Russian State University for the Humanities and a head of the Theory Department at the National Center for Contemporary Art. Since 2003 she has served on the editorial board of Moscow Art Magazine. Chukhrov has authored numerous texts on art theory, culture, politics, and philosophy. Her full-length books include: To Be – To Perform. ‘Theatre’ in Philosophical Criticism of Art (2011); Pound &£ (1999), and two volumes of dramatic poetry: Just Humans (2010) and War of Quantities (2004). Chukhrov lives and works in Moscow. Her latest performances include: “Communion”, (May Congress 2010; Perm Poetry Festival SlovaNova 2010), “Elpida and the Greeks”, NCCA, in collaboration with Nick Lgovsky and Sergei Epishev (2010), “Afghan Kuzminki” – Theatre.doc, in the frame of the Moscow IV Biennial (curator Andrei Parshchikov), the Small Arsenale, Kiev, in the frame of the Kiev Biennial, and at the Wiener Festwochen. With “Love-machines,” her latest video-play, she participated at the Bergen Assembly.

Alexandra Petrova was born in Saint Petersburg when it still was called Leningrad, she studied in Tartu, and in 1993 she immigrated to Jerusalem. Since 1998 she has lived in Rome. Her three volumes of poetry are Liniia otryva (in English “Point of Detachment” or “Edge of the Precipice,” 1994), Vid na zhitel’stvo(“License to Live,” “Residence Permit” or “A View on Existence,” with introduction by Alexandr Goldshtejn, 1999), Tol’ko derevia (“Only the trees,” introduction by Stephanie Sandler, 2008). In 2001 she published a philosophical operetta entitled Pastukhi Dolly (“The Shepherd of Dolly”), a play in ten acts that recounts a tale of cloning in pastoral terms. Her works have been published in leading Russian magazines, such as Znamia, Mitin zhurnalZerkalo and Zvezda. Her prose and poems have been translated into several languages. She was short-listed for the Andrei Belyj Prize in 1999 and in 2008. She is currently completing her first novel.

Aleksandr Skidan was born in Leningrad in 1965. He is a poet, critic, essayist and translator. Skidan attended The Free University (1989–1992), while working as a stoker in the boiler house (1985–2002). His poetry collections include Delirium (1993), In the Re-Reading (1998), Red Shifting (2005) and most recently Dissolution (2010). He is also the author of three books of essays, Critical Mass (1995), The Resistance to/of Poetry (2001), Sum of Poetics (2013) and Theses Toward Politicization of Art (2014). He has translated contemporary American poetry and fiction into Russiаn, as well as theoretical works of Paul de Man, J. Hillis Miller, Jean-Luc Nancy, Paolo Virno, Gerald Raunig. In 1998 he received the Turgenev Award for short prose. He was winner of Andrey Bely Prize in poetry for the collection Red Shifting (2006) and the Most (“Bridge”) Award for the best critical text on poetry (2006). In 2008 his book Red Shifting was published in USA by Ugly Duckling Presse. He is a member of Chto Delat’? working group and a co-editor of the New Literary Observer magazine. He lives in Saint Petersburg.

Poet/Scholar/Translator Participants:

Marijeta Bozovic is Assistant Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Yale University, and a specialist in Russian and Balkan literature and culture of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Her research interests include poetry, avant-gardes, diasporas and transnational culture, translation and adaptation across media, and the poetics and politics of the Danube river. Her first book, Nabokov’s Canon: From Onegin to Ada (forthcoming with Northwestern University Press) examines canon formation, transnational literatures, and struggles with other media. Her second book project, Avant-Garde Post– : Radical Poetics After the Soviet Union turns to contemporary politically engaged poetry in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Charles Bernstein is author of Recalculating and Attack of the Difficult Poems: Essays and Inventions, both from the University of Chicago Press.  He is Donald T. Regan Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Penn.

Julia Bloch grew up in Northern California and Sydney, Australia. She is the author of Letters to Kelly Clarkson, a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award, and Valley Fever. She works as associate director of the Kelly Writers House, teaches literature and creative writing at Penn, and coedits the online journal of poetry and poetics Jacket2.

Catherine Ciepiela is a scholar and translator of modern Russian poetry.  She recently edited the anthology Relocations: Three Contemporary Russian Women Poets (2013) and is the author of a book on Marina Tsvetaeva and Boris Pasternak (The Same Solitude) and co-editor of The Stray Dog Cabaret, an anthology of Russian modernist poetry. Her translations have appeared in The Nation, The Massachusetts Review, Seneca Review and elsewhere.

Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach holds an MFA in Poetry from the University of Oregon and is currently working on her Ph.D. in the University of Pennsylvania’s Comparative Literature & Literary Theory program. Her poetry has appeared in or is forthcoming from Gulf Coast, TriQuarterly, Cosmonauts Avenue and Guernica, among others journals. She is the author of The Bear Who Ate the Stars (Split Lip Press, 2014)winner of Split Lip Magazine’s Uppercut Chapbook Award. Julia is also the Editor-in-Chief of Construction Magazine.

Sibelan Forrester is Professor of Russian at Swarthmore College, where she teaches language, literature, and the theory and practice of translation. She has published numerous translations of poetry, prose and scholarly work from Croatian, Russian and Serbian. Her selection of translations of Elena Ignatova’s poetry, The Diving Bell, appeared in a bilingual edition from Zephyr Press (2006), and her translations of Maria Stepanova are in Relocations: 3 Contemporary Russian Women Poets (ed. Catherine Ciepiela, Zephyr Press 2013, shortlisted for the 2014 Best Translated Book Awards) and in the online journal Big Bridge, special issue on Twenty-First Century Russian Poetry, guest ed. Larissa Shmailo. Her translations of Croatian poet Dubravka Oraić-Tolić, American Scream and the Palindrome Apocalypse, won the 2006 Heldt Prize for Best Translation in Slavic, East European and Eurasian Women’s Studies.

David Hock is a Ph.D. candidate in Slavic Languages and Literatures at Princeton University whose dissertation is tentatively titled “On the Concept of Authorship in Russian Postmodernism.”

James McGavran has taught Russian language and culture courses at Kenyon College, St. Olaf College, and Rutgers University, and he began work as a lecturer in Russian at the University of Pennsylvania in the fall of 2014. His book of annotated translations of Vladimir Mayakovsky, Selected Poems, is now available from Northwestern University Press, and he has also published articles and translations in Slavonica, Modern Poetry in Translation, and Slavic and East European Journal.

Bob Perelman is a poet and author of numerous books, including Iflife, The Future of Memory, Ten to One. He is also a critic, quthor of the forthcoming Modernism the Morning After. He teaches at the University of Pennsylvania.

Kevin M. F. Platt is Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Term Professor in the Humanities, Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures and Graduate Chair of the Comparative Literature Program at the University of Pennsylvania. He works on representations of Russian history, history and memory in Russia, Russian lyric poetry, and global post-Soviet Russian culture. He is the author, most recently of Terror and Greatness: Ivan and Peter as Russian Myths (2011). He is the editor of Hit Parade: The Orbita Group, a collection of translations of Russian–language poetry from Riga, Latvia, that is forthcoming in 2015 from Ugly Duckling Presse.

Ariel Resnikoff is a poet and translator. His chapbook, Between Shades, came out last May from the Materialist Press & he is currently translating into English Mikhl Likht’s Yiddish modernist long poem, Processions, as well as Avoth Yeshurun’s Hebrew collection, 30 Pages. He was the recipient of a 2013/14 Dorot Fellowship & is now reading for a doctorate in Comparative Literature & Literary Theory at the University of Pennsylvania.

Stephanie Sandler teaches Russian literature at Harvard University. She joined in translating Olga Sedakova, In Praise of Poetry (Open Letter Press, 2014), and has published translations of Elena Shvarts, Mara Malanova, Elena Fanailova, among others. She is writing a book-length study of contemporary Russian poetry.

Bela Shayevich is a Soviet-born writer, illustrator, and translator currently living in Philadelphia. With Ainsley Morse, she translated Vsevolod Nekrasov’s I Live I See (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2013). Her translations have also appeared in Bitch, The New Yorker, and n+1.

Frank Sherlock is the author of Space Between These Lines Not Dedicated, Over Here, The City Real & Imagined (w/ CAConrad), and a collaboration with Brett Evans entitled Ready-to-Eat Individual. Por Aquí, a Spanish-language collection of works translated by Carlos Soto-Román, will be published in Chile in fall 2015 He is the 2014-15 Poet Laureate of Philadelphia.

Alexandra Tatarsky is a writer and performer from New York City, currently based in Philadelphia where she is training in mime and mask work with Pig Iron Theater Company.  She has written and given talks on translating Sapgir and Brodsky, and translates poetry for personal pleasure (and anguish).  She often adapts text for the stage, and recently performed mistranslated Romanian Socialist Realist poetry set to electric keyboard.

Ilya Vinitsky is professor and chair of the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Pennsylvania. His central areas of interest include eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Russian literature, the history of emotions, and nineteenth-century intellectual and spiritual history. He is the author of numerous books, including most recently Ghostly Paradoxes: Modern Spiritualism and Russian Culture in the Age of Realism (2009). Heavenly Sisters: Vasily Zhukovsky and the Romantic Religion of Love is forthcoming.

Val Vinokur teaches literature at The New School, and his work has appeared in Common Knowledge, The Boston Review, McSweeney’s, The Russian Review, Zeek, The Massachusetts Review, The Literary Review, and New American Writing. His book, The Trace of Judaism: Dostoevsky, Babel, Mandelstam, Levinas, was published by Northwestern University Press and was a finalist for the 2009 AATSEEL Award for Best Book in Literary/Cultural Studies. A 2008 Guggenheim Fellow in the field of translation, he has translated works by Marie Vieux-Chauvet, Patrick Chamoiseau, Osip Mandelstam, Vladimir Mayakovsky, and Isaac Babel.

Michael Wachtel is a specialist in Russian poetry and poetics. He is the author of The Development of Russian Verse (1998), The Cambridge Introduction to Russian Poetry (2004) and A Commentary to Pushkin’s Lyric Poetry 1826–1836 (2011). He has been teaching at Princeton University since 1990.

Matvei Yankelevich is a poet and translator. His books include Alpha Donut (United Artists Books), Boris by the Sea (Octopus Books), and the forthcoming Some Worlds for Dr. Vogt (Black Square Editions). He is the translator of Today I Wrote Nothing: The Selected Writings of Daniil Kharms (Overlook/Ardis) and co-translator of An Invitation for Me to Think by Alexander Vvedensky (NYRB Poets). He edits the Eastern European Poets Series for Ugly Duckling Presse.

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