Osip Mandelstam was born in 1891 in Warsaw and died a prisoner in a transit camp near Vladivostock in 1938. An Acmeist poet and one who avoided the political world, he nevertheless came to be regarded as a subversive and was hounded by interrogators. In order to preserve his poetry which became incriminating if written down, poems were committed to memory by his wife, other poets, and friends. He is one of Russia's greatest twentieth-century poets.
Bernard Meares is British, a former journalist who for many years lived and studied in Russia.