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Overview

FINALIST, 2024 PEN AWARD FOR POETRY IN TRANSLATION

"Olga Sedakova is a writer of global significance. . .the publishing of this collection is a welcome stage in the reception of her exceptional genius in the West." So writes Rowan Williams in his foreword to this translation of Old Songs.

Born in Moscow in 1949, Olga Sedakova emerged as a leading writer of the late Soviet period. Since 2014, she has been an outspoken critic of Russia's war on Ukraine. Her writing bears witness to the values of generosity, attention, and non-violence. The poems in Old Songs construct a world shaped by these values, forming a lyric sequence infused with folk wisdom and anchored in moral courage. It is a world brought into being by song, the kind passed down over cradles and on walks through the garden. These poems find their way into your memory and accompany you on your way.

Sedakova is not only one of Russia's most revered contemporary poets but also a scholar and essayist. Often compared to figures such as Czeslaw Milosz, she has, with this volume (according to Rowan Williams), succeeded in "conveying the sense of a forgotten directness of perception and relation-not a lost simplicity, exactly, but a larger and more human world. . . ."


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781639821419
Publisher: Slant Books
Publication date: 09/12/2023
Pages: 98
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.23(d)

About the Author

Olga Sedakova is an internationally recognized poet and thinker. Emerging out of the late Soviet Underground, she has gone on to become a voice of conscience in the post-Soviet era. Sedakova is the recipient of many awards, including Russia's Andrei Bely Prize. Her poems engage diverse modes, from the folkloric to the metaphysical, and reflect an ethic and aesthetic grounded in Russian cultural tradition and informed by a "longing for world culture" (Osip Mandelstam).

Martha M. F. Kelly is associate professor of Russian at the University of Missouri. She is author of Unorthodox Beauty: Russian Modernism and Its New Religious Aesthetics (Northwestern University Press, 2016). Her literary translations and essays have appeared in Two Lines, Los Angeles Review of Books, Michigan Quarterly, Poetry Daily, and Lit Hub. She is currently working on a book, "Olga Sedakova, Russian Icon, or The Poet on the Stove at the Center of the Cosmos."
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