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The Country Where Everyone’s Name Is Fear

Selected Poems

Boris Khersonsky and Luidmila Khersonsky

Edited by Katie Farris and Ilya Kaminsky


Boris Khersonsky and Ludmila Khersonsky write poetry that speaks to the crisis of our time, when refugees run from bombardments, nonstop propaganda flows from TV, and neighbors begin to hate their neighbors. The setting is Ukraine at the start of the twenty-first century, but it is eerily recognizable anywhere.

These brief lyric poems speak about the memory of historical trauma and witness stark individual voices that pierce the wall of complacency. What is the music of such times? What is its metaphysics? This collection gives us an unflinching, memorable response.

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Boris Khersonsky is one of Ukraine’s most prominent Russian-language poets. In Soviet times, he was a part of the Samizdat movement, which disseminated alternative, nonconformist literature.

Ludmila Khersonsky is author of three collections of poetry and a professional translator. Her poetry has been honored with the Voloshin Prize and translated into several languages.

Katie Farris is author of Boysgirls and coeditor of Gossip and Metaphysics: Russian Modernist Poets. She is a recipient of the Chad Walsh Chapbook Prize and the Anne Halley Poetry Prize.

Ilya Kaminsky is author of Dancing in Odessa and Deaf Republic. He is a recipient of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

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