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.
She brings out well both the collective nature of [Gennady Aygi's] response (“we” rather than “I”) and his constant impulse to transcend or transform the brute facts to which he bears witness, reminding one of Pasternak’s statement that art “reflects unremittingly on death, and in doing so unremittingly creates life.”
—Peter France, The Times Literary Supplement
Sarah Valentine has done an amazing job at fitfully translating the many modes, styles, and tones of Gennady Aygi’s work. The voices within the poems remain separate yet inherently linked. There is certainly a natural, genuine appeal to the verse—a challenge that translators are often confronted with.
—Greg Bem, Plop
Reviews of books by Sarah Valentine