Opulent, playful, and sensual, Polina Barskova's poems have earned her a reputation as the finest Russian poet under forty. While steeped in Russian and classical culture, Barskova's work remains unmistakably contemporary, at once classic and edgy--always fresh, new and even startling. A major English-language event, The Zoo in Winter collects poems from seven earlier books as well as from her more recent work. It is a remarkable menagerie of poems, of a strange and intoxicating beauty.
Polina Barskova, born in 1976, is widely regarded as the most important Russian poet of her generation. Her first book of poems was published when she was still a teenager. After receiving a degree in Russian Literature and Classics from St. Petersburg University at age twenty, she came to the U.S. where she earned a Ph.D. in Russian Literature from UC Berkeley. Author of seven books of poetry, this is her first collection in English. Barskova teaches at Hampshire College.
Boris Dralyuk was born in Odessa in 1982 and immigrated to the United States in 1991. He is currently completing a PhD in Slavic Languages and Literatures at UCLA. His poems, translations, and reviews have appeared in various literary and academic journals.
David Stromberg is the author of Baddies (Melville House 2009). He has written for The Believer, The Forward, Jerusalem Post, and Ha'aretz and he has edited several translations including Gail Hareven's award-winning novel The Confessions of Noa Weber (Melville House 2009), Catherine Breillat's Pornocracy (Semiotext(e) 2009), and Zeek: Russified, a volume of contemporary Russian-Jewish writing.
"Lavishly mordant, magically bitter, erotically sardonic"
"Polina Barskova's work emerges from an intelligence and a sensibility in which poetry matters, and not only to poets. These poems arise from a confluence of history and lyric: fraught with danger but vibrant with inquiry."