The Voice Over: Poems and Essays


Product Details

$19.95  $18.55
Columbia University Press
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.4 X 1.2 inches | 0.93 pounds
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About the Author

Maria Stepanova is the author of over ten poetry collections as well as three books of essays and the documentary novel In Memory of Memory. She is the recipient of several Russian and international literary awards.

Irina Shevelenko is professor of Russian in the Department of German, Nordic, and Slavic at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

With translations by: Alexandra Berlina, Sasha Dugdale, Sibelan Forrester, Amelia Glaser, Zachary Murphy King, Dmitry Manin, Ainsley Morse, Eugene Ostashevsky, Andrew Reynolds, and Maria Vassileva.


Stepanova's voice is a multipotent anthology of epic, lyric, and pure spell. She turns myth back into memory, heroes into humans, and her country's rush from one catastrophe to another into language. No translator who reads Stepanova's work thinks, 'I can do this.' This is a book prepared by people who believed in a poetic miracle and this miracle happened--to the English language above all.--Valzhyna Mort, author of Music for the Dead and Resurrected
A volume of Maria Stepanova's work in English translation is long overdue, but this one, rendered by a dream team of the best translators and poets working today, has been worth the wait. The Voice Over offers a worthy tribute to Stepanova's multiple achievements: a rich selection of texts from Stepanova's poetry and translations of Stepanova's essays, both illuminated by Irina Shevelenko's expert introduction and commentary, framing Stepanova's writing with sophistication and insight.--Kevin M. F. Platt, founder of Your Language My Ear translation symposium
2021 is the year of Stepanova.-- "The Guardian"
Maria Stepanova is among the most visible figures in post-Soviet culture.-- "Los Angeles Review of Books"
[Stepanova's] work is defined by fluent phrases expressing complex thoughts, the fusing of different styles, a carefree command of all possible metrical feet, and a great sense of empathy.-- "Poetry International"
Stepanova's brilliance is matched only by her legendary difficulty. Rather than write in free verse, she sticks to the metric strictures of classic syllabotonic Russian poetry and fills traditional forms with a dizzying mix of references and registers, drawing on everything from Slavic folklore to social media.-- "Poetry Magazine"
Stepanova is finally receiving the attention she deserves in the Anglophone world. Subtle and erudite in its treatment of politics and history, her work is a much-needed antidote to the crude depictions of Russia that have filled the English-language media in recent years.-- "Harper's Magazine"
Each book [The Voice Over, In Memory of Memory, and War of the Beasts and the Animals] casts light on the others, revealing overlapping themes. Their simultaneous appearance gives English-speaking readers a singular opportunity to become familiar with a major Russian poet and thinker.-- "Times Literary Supplement"