Leonid Kossman

About the Author:

Leonid Kossman
Riga/Moscow - New York

Leonid Kossman (1915-2010) was a Soviet-American linguist, philologist, and Germanist; author of textbooks on German phraseology and English word usage and grammar for Russian speakers; and a journalist (in exile). In February 1918, his family emigrated from Bolshevik Russia to the newly independent Latvia. He spoke three languages – Russian, German, and Latvian. After graduating from a German gymnasium, he studied at the University of Latvia; at the same time, he worked as a theater critic for the Latvian newspaper Cīņa. He was able to leave Latvia three days before the Nazi army occupied Riga. All remaining members of his family perished in the Holocaust in Riga. On July 27, 1942, he was severely wounded in the head near Staraya Russa. After the war, he completed his graduate studies at the Philological Faculty of Moscow University. He taught German language and literature at the Maurice Thorez Institute (Moscow’s InYaz) for many years. During this period, his articles on German philology and two textbooks for students of German were published. They became classic textbooks for several generations of German language students in all regions of the Soviet Union. With his wife and two children, he emigrated from the Soviet Union in 1972 and arrived in the US in 1973. He taught German at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. After moving to New York, he worked as a journalist; he collaborated with Russian-language newspapers such as Russkaya mysl (Paris) and with German-language newspapers such as Staats-Zeitung and Aufbau. He signed all his newspaper articles with pen names. In the late 1970s, he wrote six textbooks of English vocabulary and grammar, which became very popular among Russian speakers in the late 1970s and the 1980s. This excerpt is from his novel “Above Water”. (“Above Water” by Leon Kossman, originally written in German and published in English in 2003).

by Nina Kossman

A collection of moving, often funny vignettes about a childhood spent in the Soviet Union.

“Vivid picture of life behind the Iron Curtain.” —Booklist
“This unique book will serve to promote discussions of freedom.” —School Library Journal

by Ian Probstein

A new collection of poems by Ian Probstein. (In Russian)

by Ilya Perelmuter (editor)

Launched in 2012, “Four Centuries” is an international electronic magazine of Russian poetry in translation.

by Ilya Ehrenburg

Ilya Ehrenburg (1891–1967) was one of the most prolific Russian writers of the twentieth century.  Babi Yar and Other Poems, translated by Anna Krushelnitskaya, is a representative selection of Ehrenburg’s poetry, available in English for the first time.

by William Conelly

Young readers will love this delightful work of children’s verse by poet William Conelly, accompanied by Nadia Kossman’s imaginative, evocative illustrations.

by Maria Galina

A book of poems by Maria Galina, put together and completed exactly one day before the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This is Galina’s seventh book of poems. With translations by Anna Halberstadt and Ainsley Morse.

Three Questions. A Documentary by Vita Shtivelman
Play Video
Poetry Reading in Honor of Brodsky’s 81st Birthday
Length: 1:35:40