Beyond the Boundaries

Beyond the Boundaries

By Eugene Dubnov

Translated from the Russian by Anne Stevenson with the author

Price: £12.00

ISBN: 978-1-910323-92-2

135mmx210mm, paperback, 136pp

Born in Tallinn, Eugene Dubnov spent his adolescent years in Riga and became a voluntary exile from the Soviet Empire in 1971. He studied Psychology at the University of Moscow and came to England in 1975 to do postgraduate research on the poetry of T.S. Eliot and Osip Mandelstam. From the mid-1980s to 2006 he collaborated with John Heath-Stubbs on translating Russian poetry for a comprehensive anthology spanning three centuries. Dubnov’s two volumes of verse in Russian appeared in London in 1978 and 1984; a bi-lingual volume, The Thousand-Year Minutes, co-translated by Anne Stevenson and the author, came out in 2013 from Shoestring Press. His poetry and prose in English translation and written in English have been published widely in periodicals in Britain, USA, Canada, Australia and elsewhere, as well as in several European and North American anthologies; nine of his short stories have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3; his work has also appeared translated into other languages. The first volume of his autobiography, Never out of Reach, written in English, was published by Clemson and Liverpool University Presses in 2015.

Over thirty years ago, when Eugene Dubnov was mulling over a doctoral thesis on Mandelstam, I first read his poetry and was astonished that such a genuine talent was subordinating itself to analyzing others’ talents. But a Russian poet in post-Soviet space or exile has few of the paths to recognition available to an earlier generation – being imprisoned, shot or deported. This volume has Dubnov at his best, and with each poem beautifully mirrored in English, too. It is still clear that he is an heir to Mandelstam (and to Joseph Brodsky, as well), but his is an original voice, moulding the Russian language with finesse and sensitivity.” – Donald Rayfield, Professor Emeritus, University of London

The poems of Eugene Dubnov are poignant, subtle, and beautifully made. At home in several cultures, Dubnov is a true original.” – X.J. Kennedy

A sensitive look into the nature of things and events, close attention to earth’s great and small marks… unceasing thinking process and meaningfulness… mastery of language… Similes and metaphors in Eugene Dubnov’s poetry please the eye with their freshness and precision.” The New Review (New York)

A real gift.” Prof. John Bayley, Oxford

Resonance of great Russian poetry of the past in a uniquely original voice.” Prof. Sir Dmitry Obolensky, Oxford

A significant… interesting and resourceful poet.” Prof. Gerald Smith, Chair of Russian, Oxford, in Scottish Slavonic Review

Eugene Dubnov’s poetry is remarkable for its tight structure and dense, complex texture.” W.D. Snodgras

“Eugene Dubnov’s writings are extensive and read world-wide, which is the best testimony of his powers and talents.” Arnold Wesker

On Dubnov’s first Shoestring Books volume:

Eugene Dubnov’s poems, side by side in the original Russian, “chorus in polyphony,” like his springtime birds. His work is a magnificent epistle to lives “stretched between fire and hard frost.” Rich details, precise diction, and surprising metaphors elevate The Thousand-Year Minutes to its rightful place: a bookshelf near you.” J. Patrick Lewis, USA

Eugene Dubnov’s new book, The Thousand-Year Minutes , shows a sharp lyrical objectivism that reminds me a bit of the late work of George Oppen, yet is all a strength of its own and of a life lived, sometimes suffered, in and of both the natural and built worlds, showing both how complex and how ephemeral our places, spaces, and selves really are.” Charles Alexander, Chax Press, USA

Poetry of the earth…[The Thousand-Year Minutes ] brought to mind something of the pure and uninflected voice of John Clare.” Poetry New Zealand Yearbook