Polina Barskova was born in then-Leningrad in 1976, and left Russia at the age of twenty to pursue her PhD in Russian Studies at UC Berkeley, having already earned a graduate degree and become an accomplished poet in her homeland. Three books of Barskova’s poetry have been translated into English: This Lamentable City (Tupelo Press, 2010), The Zoo in Winter: Selected Poems (Melville House, 2011), and Relocations (Zephyr Press, 2015). As a professor of Russian literature at Hampshire College, Barskova began a collective archival project that resulted in the anthology Written in the Dark: Five Poets in the Siege of Leningrad (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2016).
At the end of 2015, Barskova received the Andrey Bely Prize for her book of prose Living Pictures. She currently lives in Amherst (MA) with her daughter Frosia. Her tenth book of poetry A Sunny Morning in the City Square was published in Saint Petersburg last year.
Photo Credit: Freya Crawford