A Close Reading of Fifty-three Poems by Semyon Izrailevich Lipkin book cover

A Close Reading

of Fifty-three poems by Semyon Izrailevich Lipkin

Author(s) / Editor(s) / Translator(s):   Yvonne Green and Sergei Makarov, Introduced by Professor Donald Rayfield, Selected by Alexander Solzhenitsyn

ISBN:   978-1-739778-52-1

Publication date:   July 17, 2023

Price:  £ 14.99

Postage:  £ 2.50

About this title:  

The Jewish, Odesa-born poet, Semyon Izrailevich Lipkin (1911–2003), was a central figure in modern Russian literature, although until recently he was best known in the West for his role in preserving the manuscript of Vasily Grossman’s Life and Fate from the KGB. As a Soviet journalist in WW2, he witnessed and wrote about the horrors of Stalingrad which led the Nobel Laureate Josef Brodsky to refer to him as ‘Russia’s war poet’. Later, during the years of Stalin’s deportation of ethnic groups, Lipkin translated and preserved the language and writings of Tajiks, Uzbeks, Tatars, Kirgiz, Karbadians, and other Soviet nationalities and in doing so became a living repository of their cultures for which he risked censure and arrest from the Soviet authorities. The poems in this volume show the remarkable range of Lipkin’s work: his Jewish faith, Stalin’s oppression, the Holocaust, and the spiritual fate of mankind and reveal why as a poet he was revered by great Russian writers such as Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Anna Akhmatova and Josef Brodsky.

No Russian poet has written poetry over such a long period as Lipkin … The thousand or so poems he wrote over seventy five years are all beautifully crafted, thoughtful and original.
– Professor Donald Rayfield

About the Author(s):  

The poet Yvonne Green is a British-born Jewess of Boukharian extraction. She read law at the LSE and was called to the Bar in both New York and London. Her pamphlet, Boukhara (2007), won The Poetry Business Book & Pamphlet Competition. She has published 4 full-length collections including; The Assay (2010), Honoured (2015) and Jam & Jerusalem (2018). After Semyon Izrailevich Lipkin was named as the Poetry Book Society’s Translation Choice in 2011 and her Selected Poems and Translations was published for Kindle by Smith|Doorstop in 2014. Her work has been translated into Hebrew by Tal Nitzan and published by Am Oved.

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