My Hollywood and Other Poems


Product Details

$16.95  $15.76
Paul Dry Books
Publish Date
5.4 X 8.3 X 0.5 inches | 0.25 pounds

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About the Author

Boris Dralyuk is the Editor in Chief of the Los Angeles Review of Books. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The New York Review of Books, The Hopkins Review, The New Criterion, The Yale Review, First Things, Subtropics, The Georgia Review, and elsewhere. He is co-editor (with Robert Chandler and Irina Mashinski) of The Penguin Book of Russian Poetry, editor of 1917: Stories and Poems from the Russian Revolution and Ten Poems from Russia, and translator of Isaac Babel, Mikhail Zoshchenko, and other authors. He lives in Los Angeles. My Hollywood is his debut poetry collection.


"Throughout My Hollywood, Dralyuk crafts polished lyric tableaux, enlivened by formal wit, wry anticlimaxes, delightfully mixed emotions, and exacting descriptive details that hint at the multiple stories percolating beneath."--The Hudson Review

"[Dralyuk's] subjects are faded landmarks, artists one doesn't expect to find in LA like Thomas Mann, Aldous Huxley, Arnold Schoenberg, or film stars of a bygone age. He writes with enthusiasm about diminished lives, and the result in this first collection of poems, My Hollywood, is a book of elegant realism, a worthy addition to the poetry of 'Los Angeles.'"--The Los Angeles Review

"My Hollywood, Boris Dralyuk's debut collection of poems, is so thematically coherent, so satisfying as an achieved gesture and mood, that it is easy to overlook just how multidimensional Dralyuk's art is . . . The formal panache and ingenuity that make My Hollywood so pleasurable to read also serve to heighten its poignant blend of celebration and elegy."--Times Literary Supplement

"Throughout, the ache of exile reverberates against the irretrievability of the past, but there's also a quality of lightness in the poems, stemming from a fascination of place and the delights of Dralyuk's prosody."--The Poetry Foundation's "Harriet Books" blog

"It is Dralyuk's ability to subtly connect the experience of the émigré to the inevitably more universal theme of death--the ultimate answer to the question of residency, the ultimate emigration--that gives the book its most permeating and consolatory value."--World Literature Today

"[Dralyuk's] voice, now melancholy, now witty, is wonderfully distinctive; his craft is dazzling."--First Things

"Boris Dralyuk's My Hollywood is poignant and perfectly phrased, full of nostalgias and absences, home and exile, piercingly recognizable to anyone who loves the place and knows its failings. The inclusion of the other poets from the Russian diaspora provides a resonance of theme, but also highlights the unique charm of Dralyuk's verse."--Janet Fitch, the author of White Oleander and Paint It Black

"Generations of Americans have chased their dreams to Los Angeles only to awake to strangeness and disappointment. In My Hollywood Boris Dralyuk brilliantly describes those dreamers' lives with the clear eye of an émigré who witnesses details that open up larger questions of life. Dralyuk is also a master of poetic craft whose use of meter and rhyme give his original work a classic flavor, and allow him to translate Russian poetry with skill, flare and authenticity that is rare. My Hollywood is a book to savor."--A. M. Juster, author of Wonder & Wrath

"As a translator and anthologist, Boris Dralyuk has
lovingly rescued neglected Russian poets, and he now achieves, in his own
poems, a similar triumph with Los Angeles, recovering and preserving passages
in its history that time and human indifference have obscured. My Hollywood features appearances by such cultural heavyweights as Thomas Mann, Laura and
Aldous Huxley, and Arnold Schoenberg. But Dralyuk also treats us to tours of
now vanished landmarks of L. A. like the Garden of Allah hotel and the Bargain
Circus discount barn; and he chronicles the careers of some of the many
entertaining misfits, including a ne'er-do-well uncle of Isaac Babel, who have
passed through Southern California on their earthly pilgrimage. Dralyuk is as
well a lively technician--a clever rhymer who is particularly deft at sonnets.
Anyone interested in fine verse and Los Angeles will relish this book."--Timothy Steele, author of Toward the Winter Solstice

"My Hollywood and Other Poems works the shimmering depths and
surfaces of a Russian presence in America's film-set. Its poems cross the
refracted ache of exile with the kind of detail that narrates lives as
precisely and suggestively as an Edward Hopper painting. A beautifully
evocative debut."--Vona Groarke, author of Spindrift
and Double Negative

"There is that old concept of the 'genius of a place, ' which, as it enters literature, makes an atmosphere all its own--impossible to forget. I keep thinking of this as I read My Hollywood and Other Poems, in which Boris Dralyuk, the brilliant translator of Isaac Babel's Odessa Stories, now gives us Los Angeles: a theater of being, captured in beautifully crafted sonnets, pantoums, and hymns full of longing and character and verve. Anyone who has ever visited the Russian immigrant shops and restaurants of Los Angeles, or stopped in parks where old men play cards and grandmas watch kids while spreading gossip, will instantly recognize the music of memory in Dralyuk's virtuoso performance. The wit and daring of his rhymes and phrasing remind me of that old master, Donald Justice, who dazzled us with the elegance of his forms. Dralyuk carries this high style into the 21st century, and I, for one, am thrilled to be in the presence of his marvelous verbal art. Pay attention, readers: a new maestro is in our midst."--Ilya Kaminsky, author of Deaf Republic and Dancing in Odessa