A poet dazzling enough to be commemorated with a minor planet and a ship in her honour, Marina Tsvetaeva is a crown jewel in Russian literature. Christopher Whyte’s translation of her early poems from 1913 to 1915 does an admirable job of bringing her legacy into the twenty-first century.
Valzyna Mort’s third collection ‘Music for the Dead and Resurrected’ was published in November 2020 amidst ongoing protests in her native Belarus regarding the fraudulent election of Alexander Lukashenko in August of that year. The majority of these poems take place in and around Minsk, the ‘city of iron and irony’ where Mort was born.
A novel’s first line is crucial. George Orwell’s 1984 (1949) begins, “It was a bright cold day in April and the clocks were striking thirteen.” Donna Tartt’s The Secret History (1992) begins, “The snow in the mountains was melting and Bunny had been dead for several weeks before we came to understand the gravity of Read More