Anzhelina Polonskaya was born in Malakhovka, a small town near Moscow. She began to write poems seriously at the age of eighteen. Between 1995 and 1997 she lived in Latin America, working as a professional ice dancer. Her first book of verses Svetoch Moi Nebesny (My Heavenly Torch) appeared in 1993. In 1998, the Moscow Writer’s Publishing House published her second book, entitled Verses. Having left the ice show, Polonskaya decided to devote herself to literature. Her works were published in many of the broadest circulation Russian journals in this period. Since 1998, she has been a member of the Moscow Union of Writers. In 1999, her book The Sky in a Private’s Eye was published. In September 1999, this book was presented at the First International Festival of Poets in Moscow, and, in October 1999, at an international poetry festival/conference at Northwestern University (Chicago, USA). In 2002 her book Golos (A Voice) was published in Moscow, and in 2003, Polonskaya became a member of the Russian PEN-centre. In 2004 an English version of her book, entitled A Voice, appeared in the acclaimed “Writings from an Unbound Europe” series at Northwestern University Press.
Andrew Wachtel is the president of the American University of Central Asia in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Previously he was dean of The Graduate School and director of the Roberta Buffett Center for International and Comparative Studies at Northwestern University. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and the author of numerous publications, he is also a translator from Russian, Bosnian/Croation/Serbian and Slovene. He translated Anzhelina Polonskaya’s previous collection, A Voice (Northwestern UP, 1995).