(Available December 1, 2013) STRONG WORDS translated by Vladimir Azarov and Barry Callaghan. $16.95 - 176 pages.
17 Colour and B&W art images, by Amadeo Modigliani, Alexander Pushkin, Nikolai Tyrsa, Andrei Voznesensky and Claire Weissman Wilks.
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Three poets who have profoundly influenced Western culture. Masterful translations that brings their unique poetic voices to English-language readers (in a bilingual edition).

Alexander Pushkin is, perhaps, the greatest of Russian poets, and certainly he is the founder of modern Russian literature. His sonnets, several of which are translated in this collection, are not well known in English, but their complexity is masterfully engaged in this volume. Anna Akhmatova is Russia’s singular woman poet and perhaps the greatest in Western Culture. Her twenty poems herein are taut lyrics characterized by her economy of language and her emotional forthrightness, her stark, striking images that mysteriously capture the sinister and the joyful, the despairing and the hopeful, in a single stanza, sometimes in a single line. Andrei Voznesensky was considered "one of the most daring writers of the Soviet era" but his style often led to regular criticism from his contemporaries and he was once threatened with expulsion by Nikita Khrushchev. Before his death, he was both critically and popularly proclaimed "a living classic," and "an icon of Soviet intellectuals." Poets Vladimir Azarov and Barry Callaghan have collaborated on what always seems to be impossible, the translation of poetry, in which the feeling, the music, let alone the meaning of the original, are captured and rendered in an English that is poetry in itself. These new translations masterfully engage the many complexities of these three great Russian writers. Six poems are presented from Pushkin, 30 from Akhmatova, and a half-dozen poetry/prose selections from Voznesensky’s major poem, The Ditch.

Vladimir Azarov is an architect and poet, formerly from Moscow, who lives in Toronto. His collections of poetry include Thaw Songs, Seven Lives, Mongolian Etudes, Dinner With Catherine the Great, Of Life and Other Small Sacrifices, Imitation, The Kiss from Mary Pickford: Cinematic Poems, and Voices in Dialogue: Dramatic Poems.

Barry Callaghan is a Canadian author, poet and anthologist. He is currently the editor-in-chief of Exile Editions and Exile: the Literary Quarterly. He has published some 20 books of fiction, nonfiction and poetry, and has be translated into 10-plus languages.

 


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