Aleksei Tsvetkov, a Russian-language émigré poet, translator, and essayist, was born in 1947 in Stanislav (now Ivano-Frankivsk) and grew up in Zaporozhye. He studied at the Faculty of Chemistry at Odessa University, the Faculty of Journalism, and the Faculty of History at Moscow State University. He was a member of Moscow Time, а poetry group in Moscow. He was arrested and deported from Moscow in 1975. Subsequently, he moved to the United States (1975). He edited а local Russian newspaper and taught Russian literature. In addition to poetry, he published prose, essays and translations. He is a laureate of the Andrei Bely Prize and the Russian Prize. He lived in San Francisco, Washington, and New York, until he moved to Bat Yam, Israel, in 2018.
These English poems by Gari have the same energy and elegance as his Russian poems, and they are enriched by his multilayered, polyphonic use of the English language to express thoughts and feelings with sophistication and humor.
This new edition by Shearsman Press (UK) contains translations of Marina Tsvetaeva’s narrative poems (поэмы). They can be seen as markers of various stages in her poetic development, ranging from the early, folk-accented On a Red Steed to the lyrical-confessional Poem of the Mountain and Poem of the End to the more metaphysical later poems, An Attempt at a Room, Poem of the Mountain, a beautiful requiem for Rainer Maria Rilke, New Year’s Greetings, and Poem of the Air, a stirring celebration of Lindbergh’s transatlantic flight and the quest for the soul’s freedom. These translations were first published by Ardis in 1998 and reprinted by Overlook in 2004 and 2009. The current edtion was published by Shearsman Press (UK) in 2021.