ISBN# 9781933517537 (6x8.5 128pp, paperback and limited edition hardcover)
In packages — in the supermarket — piles of potatoes. // And on the posters — in the supermarket — the Shaman.
Animated by an elemental sense of life, mortality, and humanity, the Chuvash poet Gennady Aygi wrote poems that fused his experience of ethnic difference with an avant-garde aesthetic. Artfully translated from the Russian by poet and scholar Sarah Valentine, these strong, precise poems challenge language to plumb the depths of human feeling and simultaneously attune to linguistic experimentalism.
Translator Sarah Valentine puts a fresh spin on the experimental master’s Russian and Chuvashian poems, capturing Aygi’s brilliantly diverse styles and forms in a compelling and genuine space. As sprawling as it is specific, Into the Snow serves as a powerful introduction into the work of the cold, desolate writer who learned to embrace his immediate landscape, political and natural, highlighted with a transcendental struggle, and a love for a poetics of minimalism.
Greg Bem, Plop!
Animated by an elemental sense of life, mortality, and humanity, the Chuvash poet Gennady Aygi wrote poems that fused his experience of ethnic difference with an avant-garde aesthetic. Artfully translated from the Russian by poet and scholar Sarah Valentine.
Aygi’s work shows how even simplicity can be revolutionary when it reinforces the power of the human soul over political obstacles.
Amy Henry, HTMLGIANT
I enjoyed the breathless texture and brevity of these poems—as if they could barely bear themselves.
Joyelle McSweeney, Montevidayo
Into the Snow is a lovely primer into the work of a poet who is beginning to gain worldwide notoriety.
Erin Lyndal Martin, The Rumpus
Aygi explains that his art seeks to express “an orientation toward the human in his or her connection with nature—with its unchanging miraculousness." Somehow, by turning away from rational thought and the trappings of modernity, we can tap into something meaningful, and if we are lucky, we will perhaps even achieve a kind of enlightenment.
Jamie Olson, Berfois
Gennady Aygi (1934-2006) is considered one of Russia’s foremost avant-garde writers. He was born in the remote village of Shaymurzino in the Chuvash republic and moved to Moscow in 1953 to study at the Literary Institute. After encouragement from Boris Pasternak, he stopped writing in his native Chuvash language and began to write in Russian, which he did from 1960 until his death. Though Aygi’s poetry was not published in the Soviet Union until the 1980s, during the latter part of his life his work became well known and widely translated. He was the Chuvash National Poet, and received many honors for his work. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize on multiple occasions.
Sarah Valentine’s first book of translations, Into the Snow: Selected Poems of Gennady Aygi, is a collection of poems translated from the Russian-language poetry of Chuvash poet Gennady Aygi (1934-2006). Individual translations have been featured in the Two Lines anthology Some Kind of Beautiful Signal, as well as in journals such as diode, Circumference, and Redaction: Poetry and Poetics. Sarah has a BA in Russian Studies and Creative Writing from Carnegie Mellon University and a PhD in Russian Literature from Princeton University. She has received a Templeton Foundation grant for her research at Princeton University’s Center for the Study of Religion and a prestigious Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Humanities at UCLA. Sarah lives and Los Angeles and is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of California, Riverside, in the Department of Comparative Literature and Foreign Languages where she teaches Russian literature, comparative literature, film, and critical theory.
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