E. V. Svetova was born in Moscow when it was the capital of a now extinct empire, and she had a chance to experience both the security and the subjugation of the totalitarian state. In retrospect, it was a winning combination of a happy childhood and a subversive youth. When the country she knew disintegrated like planet Krypton in front of her eyes, the shockwave of that explosion blew her across the world. She has landed on the island of Manhattan and has considered herself a New Yorker ever since. These days, she lives at the edge of the last natural forest on the island with her artist husband, sharing their old apartment with an ever-expanding library and a spoiled English bulldog. Her creative nonfiction was published in a few magazines; her novels Print In The Snow and Over The Hills Of Green have won multiple literary awards.
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.