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Big Sur, CA – March 29, 2016– The Henry Miller Library and Ping-Pong Free Press is pleased to announce the publication of A Small Suitcase of Russian Poetry, an anthology of Russian poetry with translations by Ilya Kaminsky and Katie Farris.
Ping-Pong Free Press is an imprint of the Henry Miller Library and seeks work with a bent toward cultural dialogue in an effort to promote free speech.
Just earlier this month Henry Miller‘s books were burned in a ritual worthy of a Dan Brown novel by a group calling themselves “Pagan Librarians Perun,” who find Miller’s works “an archetype of a morally decaying western world with its prevalence of fornication and its decline of family values,” the video featuring this piece of bad theatre has gone viral.
We here at the Henry Miller Library are librarians of a different sort, realizing as we do that free speech is a sticky wicket. Ping-Pong Free Press is an imprint of the Henry Miller Memorial Library. We are proud to publish these poets who were banned in Russia during their lifetimes.
Anna Akhmatova’s poetry was banned from 1925-1953 as a threat to the social order. Akhmatova was labeled “alien to the Soviet people” for her “eroticism, mysticism, and political impartiality.” Russian futurist Vladimir Mayakovsky’s works found an audience in Stalin which Pasternak said was both Mayakovsky’s blessing and his curse. Mayakovsky killed himself in 1930, and his writings were later coöpted by the state, who many believe (his daughter included) was responsible for his death.
Absurdist poet Daniil Kharms only saw two of his adult poems published during his lifetime. Also included in this collection is the wondrous poetry of Marina Tsvetaeva, and Polina Barskova.
Dana Jennings, of The New York Times says of Katie Farris and Ilya Kaminsky’s translations: “Words flicker — strange, elegant — a Russian evanescence. Heat lightning pulses between lines.”
The Launch Party for A Small Suitcase of Russian Poetry will take place at the Coagula Curatorial Gallery on March 31st, 2016.
Live Music. Wine and cheese reception. Readings will begin at 7:30 pm.
The event is free and open to the public.
A Small Suitcase of Russian Poetry
Ping-Pong Free Press
48603 Highway One
Big Sur, CA, March 2016
Paperback, 63 pages, 15.00