The Voronezh Workbooks

Osip Mandelstam


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Shearsman Books
15 April 2022
ISBN: 9781848618350
178 pages

From the publisher

Osip Mandelstam spent three years in internal exile in the city of Voronezh, in south-western Russia, after someone in his circle of acquaintances had informed the Soviet authorities of his "Stalin Epigram" in 1934. The ninety-odd poems he wrote there are the pinnacle of his poetic achievement, bearing witness to Mandelstam's consistent independence of mind and concern for the freedom of thought. More covertly and controversially, however, they also bear the marks of Mandelstam's attempts to somehow reinstate himself back into Soviet society. In addition to all the poems that Russian editors have suggested constitute the sequence Mandelstam would have wished to see into print, this edition includes the main variants and exclusions preserved in manuscripts and in the memory of Mandelstam's wife and executor, Nadezhda. Alistair Noon's translations of Osip Mandelstam, Concert at a Railway Station: Selected Poems, appeared from Shearsman Books in 2018, with two further volumes, in 2022 - the current volume and Occasional and Joke Poems. His own poetry has appeared in two collections, Earth Records (2012) and The Kerosene Singing (2015), both from Nine Arches Press, and a dozen chapbooks from various presses. He lives in Berlin. Praise for Concert at a Railway Station "To my mind this is the best Mandelstam 'selected' yet and belongs on the bookshelves of everyone with an interest in 20th-Century Russian verse." -Ross Cogan, Poetry Wales "Alistair Noon's translations of Mandelstam are an important contribution to the study and appreciation of this vital writer." -Anton Romanenko, B O D Y "Noon daringly replicates Mandelstam's formal stanzas, using slant rhymes with a zingy freshness of diction that stops the poems from ever sounding like trans-lationese." -Henry King, Glasgow Review of Books The cover design is based on that for the Soviet Museum Bulletin published in 1930 by the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, and designed by artist Boris Ender. Ender also designed the cover for Mandelstam's children's book, Two Trams, in 1925.