Regina Derieva is one of Russia's leading contemporary poets and her new collection, "The Sum Total of Violations", represents her at the height of her poetic powers. She has strong affiliations with Swedish culture and with that of the Middle East Israel and Palestine, and her work has received commendations from a number of prominent authors including the late Nobel laureate Joseph Brodsky and the contemporary Australian poet, Les Murray. In her writing, and also in person, she embodies the new internationalism of poetry that has erupted since the fall of the Soviet Union and the opening of Eastern Europe. Living in Sweden, writing in her native Russian, translated into various languages and herself a translator of American, Australian and British poetry, she represents a poetry freed of national and cultural boundaries and addressed to an audience linked by a larger vision of human possibilities.
REGINA DERIEVA (author) was born in the former USSR (Odessa) in 1949. From 1965 until 1990 she lived and worked in Karaganda, Kazakhstan. She graduated from university with majors in music and Russian philology and literature. In the old Soviet Union, Derieva's poetry earned her the disapproval of the state authorities, and she was denied publication. The KGB kept tabs on her, and she was accepted into the Union of Writers only with glasnost'. Derieva's work managed nonetheless to attract the attention of Joseph Brodsky, who first encouraged her to leave the USSR. Regina Derieva is the author of twenty books of poems, prose and essays including most recent 'Sobranie Dorog: Selected Poems' and essays in two volumes (St. Petersburg, 2006). Her work has been translated into many languages, including English, French, Swedish, Italian and Arabic. Her work has appeared in magazines such as 'Poetry', 'Quadrant', 'Modern Poetry in Translation', 'Salt', 'The Liberal', 'Cross Currents', 'Poetry East', 'St. Petersburg Review', 'Ars Interpres', 'Notre Dame Review', 'Words Without Borders', as well as in many Russian and Swedish magazines. She has participated in a number of international festivals. Several of Regina Derieva's poems have been put to music by the Italian composer Armando Pierucci and two of his cantatas to Derieva's poems, 'Via Crucis' (1999) and 'De Profundis' (2001), have been recorded. She has translated the poetry of contemporary American, British, Polish, and Swedish poets into Russian. In 2003, Derieva was awarded the Shannon Fellowship of the International Thomas Merton Society. She currently lives in Sweden. DANIEL WEISSBORT (translator), FRSL, was born in 1935 and educated at St. Paul's School, London and Cambridge University. In 1965, with the late Ted Hughes, he founded the journal 'Modern Poetry in Translation', which he edited up to 2004. In the early Seventies he went to America where he directed, for over thirty years, the Translation Workshop and MFA Program in Translation at the University of Iowa. He is Professor (Emeritus) of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Iowa, Research Fellow in the English Department at King's College, London University and Honorary Professor in the Centre for Translation and Comparative Cultural Studies at the University of Warwick. Daniel Weissbort's anthologies of Russian poetry and of East European poetry are well known and he has also published several collections of his own poetry. Anvil Press has published his translational memoir of the late Joseph Brodsky, 'From Russian with Love'. He has co-edited, for Oxford University Press, a historical reader in translation theory, which was published in 2006. He has written a book on Ted Hughes and Translation and for Faber he has edited the Selected Translations of Ted Hughes. TOMAS VENCLOVA (introducer) was born in 1937 in Klaipeda, Lithuania. A founder member of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group (which monitored Soviet violations of human rights in Lithuania), Venclova was stripped of his Soviet citizenship for his involvement in dissident politics in 1977 and forced to emigrate. Since 1985 he has taught Slavic languages and literature at Yale University. He is a poet, translator, essayist and literary historian of international standing, and his poems and essays have been translated into more than twenty languages. Venclova has received numerous literary awards, including the Lithuanian National Prize in 2000 and the 2002 Prize of Two Nations which he received jointly with Czeslaw Milosz. Tomas Venclova's most recent book in English is 'The Junction: Selected Poems' (Bloodaxe Books, 2008), edited and co-translated by Ellen Hinsey.