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The London Magazine - April / May 2008

Published by The London Magazine

ISBN: 19650-0024-6085

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The London Magazine – April/May 2008 by Sara-Mae Tuson ed.

Short stories by Svetlana Vasilenko and G.J. Buckell.
Poems by Andrew Oldham, Ann Drysdale, Claire Crowther, Deirdre Coffey, Isobel Dixon, Luke Kennard, Negar Hasen-Zadeh, Aleksandr Pushkin, Siriol Troup…
‘The Englishing of Russian’, Michele A. Berdy
‘How a Georgian-English Dictionary was Made’, Donald Rayfield
‘Andrey Platonov and the White Sea Canal’, Robert Chandler
Selah Hennessey talks to Alexander Ilichevskii
Catherine Neilan on Aleksandr Rodchenko
Fred Johnston reviews Elena Shvarts
With new film column by Nicholas Royle

An extract from ‘The Mermaid from Patriarchs’ Pond’, Svetlana Vasilenko translated by Carol Ermakova.
‘I’m too sad to tell you about I’m Too Sad To Tell You’, G.J. Buckell

‘Acid Trip’ Ann Drysdale
‘Petra Genetrix’ Claire Crowther
‘Her Personal Rasputin’ Deirdre Coffey
‘A Song from Dagestan’ Irina Mashinski
‘Ways of Autumn’ Andrew Oldham
‘Talking through the top of a glass hat’ Philip Burton
‘Antonin Artaud’ Anton Nesterov translated by Richard McKane
‘Untitled’ Negar Hasan-Zadeh translated by Christopher Arkell
‘The Last Days of Advertising’ Luke Kennard
‘Song for my Supper’ Isobel Dixon
‘Eugene Onegin’ Aleksandre Pushkin translated by Stanley Mitchell
‘To M.T.’ Sergey Gandlevsky translated by Olia Hrebenyuk
‘The Twins, Embracing’ Simon Turner
‘Wall’ Siriol Troup
‘Untitled’ Irina Kovaleva translated by Richard McKane

‘How a Georgian-English Dictionary was Made’ Donald Rayfield
‘Spin-doktor and Imidzh-meiker: The Englishing of Russian’ Michele A. Berdy
‘Talks to Walera Martynchik’ Professor James Dingley
‘Joan Barton’s Russian Journey 1935’ Mary Michaels
Selah Hennessy talks to Aleksandr Ilichevskii
‘Andrey Platonov and the White Sea Canal’ Robert Chandler

Nicholas Royle on recent Russian cinema
Niki Seth-Smith on Anna Parkina
Catherine Neilan on Aleksandr Rodchenko
Fred Johnston on Elena Shvarts

Cover: zamki I samki, Anna Parkina, (Gouache, collage on paper, 41x43 cm, 2008)

Michele A. Berdy is a translator, writer and specialist in communications who lives in Moscow.
G. J. Buckell’s book on English experimental writer Rayner Heppenstall was published by the Dalkey Archive Press in 2007. He is currently writing a volume of short stories.
Philip Burton is a 2005 winner of the Lancaster Litfest poetry competition, and is widely published in literary magazines including Stand, PN Review, Smiths Knoll, Poetry Nottingham, and in anthologies for children. As Pip The Poet he is available to schools. www.philipburton.net.
Robert Chandler’s translations from Russian include Vasily Grossman’s Life and Fate and Aleksandr Pushkin’s The Captain’s Daughter. He is a co-translator of numerous works by Andrey Platonov.
One of these, Soul, was chosen in 2004 as ‘best translation of the year from a Slavonic language’ by the AATSEEL. Chandler’s translation of Hamid Ismailov’s The Railway won the AATSEEL prize for 2007. He reviews for several newspapers and journals and has published poems in the TLS and in Poetry Review.
Deirdre Coffey has worked for the Moscow Times. She spent her free time in a traditional wooden dacha, by the Moskva River, writing poetry and short stories. Before moving to Russia she was Austria correspondent for The Irish Times and ArtNews but her real interests have always been literary.
Claire Crowther’s first collection of poems, Stretch of Closures, was published by Shearsman in 2007 and shortlisted for the Jerwood/Aldeburgh Best First Collection prize. Her poems have also appeared in the London Review of Books and The Times Literary Supplement. She is poet in residence at Dorich House, Kingston upon Thames, a museum dedicated to the work of twentieth-century sculptor Dora Gordine. Her second collection, The Curse of Having to Act Natural, will be published by Shearsman in 2009.
Professor James Dingley manages the production of a Ukrainian-English English-Ukrainian legal dictionary, and is Secretary to the Board of Trustees, Francis Skaryna Belarusian Library and Museum, London.
Isobel Dixon grew up in South Africa, where her prize-winning debut Weather Eye was published. Her poems have appeared in The Paris Review, the Financial Times, the Guardian, Tall Lighthouse Review, Fin and Wasafiri among others, and in anthologies like the British Council New Writing volumes. Together with 5 other poets she has produced a pamphlet Ask for It by Name and her new collection A Fold in the Map is published by Salt. www.isobeldixon.com
Ann Drysdale had the longest-running by-line column in the Yorkshire Evening Post. She has published several books, including a memoir Three-three, two-two, five six, and a quirky guidebook to the City of Newport. Of her four volumes of poetry from Peterloo, the most recent, Between Dryden and Duffy, appeared in 2005. There is another in the pipeline...
Carol Ermakova has recently finished editing her husband’s book Bo and Bön: Ancient Shamanic Traditions of Tibet and Siberia in their Relation to the Teachings of a Central Asian Buddha, and is currently translating Hamid Ismailov’s new novel, Mbobo.
Sergey Gandlevsky was the winner of both the Little Booker Prize and the Anti-Booker Prize in 1996 for his poetry and prose. He is the author of four books of poems, most recently Unintel (2001). His books consistently are short-listed for the top Russian literary prizes. He has been included in various English translation anthologies.
Negar Hasan-Zadeh published her first collection of poetry entitled On Wings over the Horizon in 2000, which was translated into English in 2002. The book won the Azerbaijan Academy’s National Public Prize for ‘best poetry book of the year’ in 2001. Negar has since published a further two books of poetry, Under Alien Clouds (2004) and Silver (2007). She has twice been included in anthologies that celebrate the best of Russian female poets.
Olia Hrebenyuk is a translator and journalist. She has an M.A. in Russian Language and Culture from Queen Mary, University of London, and has translated works by Sergey Gandlevsky and Boris Rizhy. She has worked for Index on Censorship, Screen International and Artificial Eye.
Fred Johnston founded the annual Cuirt festival of literature in Galway, Ireland, in 1986. He has published eight collections of poems; The Oracle Room (Cinnamon Poetry) came out last year, as did his novel, The Neon Rose (bluechrome). He now writes poetry in French and is Director of the Western Writers’ Centre (www.twwc.ie).
Luke Kennard is a poet, editor and research student. His first collection of prose poems was published by Stride Books in 2005 and won an Eric Gregory Award from the Society of Authors. His second collection The Harbour Beyond the Movie (Salt, 2007) was short-listed for the Forward Prize for Best Collection, 2007.
Irina Kovaleva translated from and into Greek and left four books of her own poetry, including Puppet Box and Anniversary Hymn that have been translated by Richard McKane. At present a Selected Poems in Russian is in preparation. Her untimely death one year ago leaves a huge void in poetry and translation.
Richard McKane is a poet and translator and former human rights interpreter. He has translated from Russian Anna Akhmatova and Osip Mandelstam and with Ruth Christie of Nazim Hikmet and Oktay Rifat from Turkish. Hearing Eye published a selection of his own poems and translations: Poet for Poet and are due to publish his Out of the Cold Blue Poems 1967-1999 in late autumn 2008.
Irina Mashinski (Mashinskaia) is a bilingual poet and translator. She is the author of six books of poetry and a winner of several Russian national literary awards. Mashinski is a co-editor-in-chief of the Storony Sveta (Cardinal Points) literary magazine published in the US.
Mary Michaels’ seventh pamphlet collection, Caret Mark, is forthcoming from Hearing Eye.
Stanley Mitchell has taught Russian and Comparative Literature at Universities in Britain, the US, Canada and Tanzania. He is emeritus professor at Derby University. He has published articles and reviews on literary criticism in both British and French journals and has translated (from the German) studies by Benjamin (photography) and Lukács (Thomas Mann, The Historical Novel). His translation of Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin will be published later this year by Penguin Classics.
Catherine Neilan is a London-based journalist who news edits two publications – an independent monthly magazine for London’s homeless population, and a weekly title that is part of the Financial Times Group. She writes regularly for a number of other titles.
Anton Nesterov is a poet, translator and academic. He has translated a small selection of poems of Louis MacNeice. His first book of poetry is titled Dream of a Fish Under the Ice.
Andrew Oldham is an award winning writer, academic and poet whose work has been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and Independent Radio. His poetry and fiction have appeared in such magazines as, Interpreters House, Gargoyle, Transmission and Poetry Salzburg. He teaches Fiction and Screenwriting at Edge Hill University and UCLAN. He is a founding member of Incwriters and continues to champion small presses and SF.
Aleksandr Pushkin (Look it up!)
Donald Rayfield is Professor of Russian and Georgian at Queen Mary (University of London). He is the author of a number of books, including The Literature of Georgia: A History (1994/2000) and Anton Chekhov: A Life (1997), and various articles. He has just been awarded an OBE for Chekhov: A Life and for his work on Russian history.
Siriol Troup is a poet and translator and has published a pamphlet Moss (2002) and a collection Drowning up the Blue End (2004, Bluechrome). Several of her poems have won prizes in competitions, including 2nd prize in the Arvon International Poetry Competition 2006. She is currently Poet in Residence for the Twickenham River Centre Project.
Simon Turner’s first collection of poetry, You Are Here, was published by Heaventree Press in 2007. With George Ttoouli, he co-edits Gists and Piths, a blogzine dedicated to the discussion and publication of contemporary poetry. His work has appeared in Anon, Tears in the Fence, and Liminal Pleasures, and online at Intercapillary Space, Shadowtrain, and Dusie.
Svetlana Vasilenko is the author of Shamara and Other Stories. This book marks Vasilenko’s first sustained appearance in English.
Marina Wright is a Russian interpreter and translator of Boris Akunin, Viktor Pelevin, and Vladimir Sorokine. She also writes short stories.

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