These poems contemplate the poet’s native land of Russia, while at the same time casting a jaundiced eye on the alien culture of America, where he spent the final years of his life.
Whether absorbed by the world of literature (particularly his fellow poets) or relating real-life experiences, Loseff conjures up a restless, frequently disturbing universe, full of complex imagery, rich literary allusion and formal experiment.
Lev Loseff was born in 1937, grew up in Leningrad and worked as a journalist in northern Sakhalin, and as a magazine editor and children’s playwright. He emigrated to America in 1976, where he later taught Russian literature at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire. He died in the USA in 2009.
G.S. Smith was Professor of Russian at the University of Oxford from 1986 to 2003. He translated the bilingual anthology Contemporary Russian Poetry (1993), and worked in collaboration with Lev Loseff for many years.
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