Valzhyna Mort with Ilya Kaminsky
Published late in 2020 to universal high praise, Valzhyna Mort’s utterly powerful poetry collection, Music for the Dead and Resurrected (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), is steeped in a tradition of poetic witness for her native Belarus in this day and time.
“Her memory is incurable, and her imagination is anguished, because the small country she comes from is beauty and sorrow. Boldly, Valzhyna Mort stands out in the Belarusian poetic tradition. Reading her work, one feels that she has come to us from the whole earth.” - Svetlana Alesievich.
“At the core of Valzhyna Mort’s lyric fusion of personal and collective history is the uncontrolled nuclear chain reaction at Chernobyl, spreading the ‘radiation of the unknown tongue’ across her natal city of Minsk, Belarus … In the liminal space between language and silence, at dizzying imaginative speed, Mort transmutes her third language, English, into something resembling a fourth: the language of all that has been kept from consciousness concerning the past. Her lyric art in contemporary English is astonishing, and glimmering beneath it is something not often encountered: the sensibility of another world, arriving to inform our perilous present. Music for the Dead and Resurrected is fiercely original and a tour de force.” - Carolyn Forché.
Valzhyna Mort’s previous collections, Factory of Tears and Collected Body come from Copper Canyon Press.
Making this program even more special is that engaging in conversation with Valzhyna Mort will be award-winning poet Ilya Kaminsky, most recently author of the transcendent collection, Deaf Republic.