Boris & Lyudmyla Khersonsky with Ilya Kaminsky & Katie Farris
Short notice that this is, we are honored to be presenting this special virtual reading with esteemed Ukrainian poets Boris and Lyudmyla Khersonsky, whose new book of translated poetry, The Country Where Everyone’s Name is Fear (Lost Horse Press), was well underway as part of Lost Horse’s extraordinary Contemporary Ukrainian Poetry Series even before Russia launched its devastating attack. Boris and Lyudmyla Khersonsky, then in their home city of Odesa, were among the several Ukrainian poets participating in a memorable, two-hour reading from different cities and places in Ukraine on March 1. This work now assumes even more urgency, in the time we are in.
Writing in Russian, these poems have been translated by several and the book edited by poets Ilya Kaminsky and Katie Farris, who know well where these and other Ukrainian poets and poetry come from. They’ve been crucially involved in several, tireless ways since the outbreak of war - this reading counts as one of their many good acts, along with helping make this book happen. We believe Boris and Lyudmyla Khersonsky will be in Italy, where they are presently based, for this reading. Between them, they have several award-winning books of poetry. Boris Khersonsky was in earlier times part of the Samizdat movement. His work has been translated and published throughout the world. As has the work of Lyudmyla Khersonsky, author of three books of poetry, and recipient of the prestigious Voloshin Prize. “Boris and Lyudmyla Kheronsky’s The Country Where Everyone’s Name is Fear is a little miracle of a book—miracle because all the forces conspiring against such a volume finding its way into the hands of American readers, miracle too because many of the poems seem to be delivered by some divine agent evolved a little bit further along down the line than us mortals.”—Kaveh Akbar.
Editors Ilya Kaminsky and Katie Ferris are both poets, both teach at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. Ilya Kaminsky is author of two astounding poetry collections, Dancing in Odessa, and Deaf Republic, which was a finalist for the 2019 National Book Award. Katie Farris is a poet, fiction writer, and translator, whose books include boysgirls and A Net to Catch My Body in its Weaving, winner of the 2021 Chad Walsh Poetry Award.
Also joining us today are translators Alex Cigale, Vladislav Davidzon, Boris Dralyuk, Katie Farris, Ilya Kaminsky, Ostap Kin, Olga Livshin, Grace Mahoney, Diane Seuss, Katherine Young, and Javier Zamora.
Virtually hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company, with thanks to many for their assistance.