Maria Stepanova Launch Readings
Russian writer Maria Stepanova launched her first full English-language collection War of the Beasts and the Animals at StAnza International Poetry Festival on 13 March and at a joint online event hosted by Bloodaxe Books on 23 March 2021.
Stepanova is one of Russia’s most innovative and exciting poets and thinkers, and founding editor of Colta.ru, an independent cultural website which has been compared to Huffington Post in its status and importance. Her prize-winning meta-memoir In Memory of Memory (Fitzcarraldo Editions) was published on 17 February, followed by War of the Beasts and the Animals, a Poetry Book Society Translation Choice, on 25 March. Both are translated by poet and Russian specialist Sasha Dugdale. In Memory of Memory was shortlisted for the 2021 International Booker Prize.
A profile of Maria Stepanova ran in The Guardian of 11 February 2021. Read the interview here.
‘Stepanova’s poetry collection War of the Beasts and the Animals was written in 2014 and 2015, during Russia’s conflict with Ukraine... What emerges is another archive of sorts, a home for language’s changing and motley complexion.’ – Matthew Janney, The Guardian
War of the Beasts and the Animals was featured as Poetry Book of the Month in The Observer on 11 April 2021. The piece was accompanied by an extract from Stepanova’s 2018 long poem ‘The Body Returns’ from the final section of War of the Beasts and the Animals. It was reviewed alongside Maria Stepanova’s meta-memoir In Memory of Memory, which is also translated by Sasha Dugdale.
‘Stepanova’s poetry is porous. Were it a fabric, it would be complete with rents through which darkness – and truth – might leak…. Stepanova is a powerhouse. Her scornful wit is bracing and, throughout, the reader is on a switchback: you never know what waits around the next bend.’ – Kate Kellaway, The Observer (on War of the Beasts and the Animals, her Poetry Book of the Month)
Read the feature here.
Links to interviews, poem features, reviews and major pieces on Maria Stepanova's poetry and prose are on Bloodaxe's news pages here.
Bloodaxe Books launch, Tuesday 23 March 2021, Maria Stepanova (with Sasha Dugdale) and Pia Tafdrup
[11 February 2021]