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Anti-War Russian Poets Come Together for a Reading at SF’s Globus Books

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‘Disbelief: 100 Russian Anti-War Poems,’ edited by Julia Nemirovskaya. (Smokestack Books)

Student journalists sentenced to two years of forced labor. Artists labeled “foreign agents.” People arrested for holding up blank signs. Russia’s war in Ukraine has accompanied a war on free expression within its own country. And for immigrants like me, there’s a pervasive sense of alienation, a fear of returning home. So we turn to art to try to wrap our minds around the atrocities, to feel less alone and to find a path forward.

Bilingual, Moscow-born author Julia Nemirovskaya, a professor at the University of Oregon, has edited a new poetry anthology, Disbelief: 100 Russian Anti-War Poems, featuring the works of Russian-speaking authors in Ukraine, Russia and in the diaspora. Their stirring words reckon with the generational legacies of violence, resistance, displacement and feelings of helplessness.

Disbelief follows a deep history of Russian wartime poetry. Smokestack Books, the publisher of this collection, also released Russia is Burning, which features World War II-era writings by soldiers, civilians, immigrants and gulag prisoners grappling with grief, trauma, fights against fascism and the war’s effects on society.

Four immigrant authors from Disbelief, Polina Barskova, Anna Krushelnitskaya, Andrei Burago and Dmitri Manin, will read their works at Globus Books, San Francisco’s 50-year-old Russian-language bookstore, on April 7. The bilingual event, held in the intimate, Richmond District space, will include readings and a Q&A, and copies of Disbelief will be available for purchase.


Polina Barskova, Anna Krushelnitskaya, Andrei Burago and Dmitri Manin read from ‘Disbelief: 100 Russian Anti-War Poems’ at Globus Books (332 Balboa St., San Francisco) on April 7 at 5 p.m. This event is free and will be livestreamed. Details here.

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