Russian Poetry Week in London

Monday, June 17: The evening will be devoted to the work of three recent winners of the Brodsky-Spender Translation Prize: Alexandra Berlina, Boris Dralyuk and Irina Mashinski. Sasha Dugdale will interview Boris and Irina about translating Arseny Tarkovsky; Glyn Maxwell and Alexandra Berlina will talk about translating Brodsky.

Tuesday, June 18:

Osip Mandelstam

Robert Chandler, Boris Dralyuk, Peter France and others will discuss and read from new translations of one of the greatest of 20th Century European poets - Osip Mandelstam. Alexandra Berlina, Masha Karp and Irina Mashinski will read some poems in Russian.

Wednesday, June 19

The Soviet Union’s other poets

Much attention has been focused for many years on Akhmatova, Tsvetaeva, Mandelstam and Pasternak – 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 some poems in Russian.

Thursday, June 20:

Russia’s other poets – Fyodor Tyutchev and Afanasy Fet

Tyutchev is often considered the greatest Russian lyrical poet after Pushkin, yet to most English lovers of poetry he is only a name; Afanasy Fet is barely even that. Lazy talk about poetry’s untranslatability obscures the fact that there are now a number of good translation of both poets. Robert Chandler, Boris Dralyuk and others will read both from their own translations and from the brilliant translations of Frances Cornford (1886-1960). Alexandra Berlina, Masha Karp and Irina Mashinski will read some poems in Russian.

All events will be held at Pushkin House, 5a Bloomsbury Square, WC1A 2TA, at 7 pm.

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