Maxim Matusevich is a historian of Africa and the Cold War. Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, he moved to the United States on the eve of the Soviet collapse. He is presently professor of global history at Seton Hall University in New Jersey, where he directs the Russian and East European Studies Program. Maxim also writes and publishes fiction, mostly in English. His short stories, novellas, and essays have appeared in the Kenyon Review, New England Review, the Bare Life Review, MumberMag, Anti-Heroin Chic, BigCityLit, the Wild Word, Transitions, Foreign Literary, JTA, ReLevant, and other outlets.
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.