CSU's McCullers Center Names Russian Poet as Next Fellow

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Columbus State University's Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians announced today that its next writer-in-residence would be the first from beyond the United States.Anzhelina1 Polonskaya

Anzhelina Polonskaya. a poet who grew up near Moscow, will be the 2013 Marguerite and Lamar Smith Writing Fellow, living and working from September to December in the childhood home of Carson McCullers, the celebrated American writer from Columbus.

Polonskaya is the eighth recipient of this competitive fellowship named for McCullers' parents and inspired by her experiences at the Bread Loaf Writer's Conference and the Yaddo Arts Colony in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Polonskaya, born in Malakhovka, a small town near Moscow, has been a member of the Moscow Union of Writers since 1998. In 2003, she became a member of the Russian PEN-centre. Polonskaya has published translations in many leading world poetry journals, including World Literature Today, Descant, Modern Poetry in Translation, Poetry Review UK, The American Poetry Review, and International Poetry Review, Boulevard, The Iowa Review, The Massachusetts ReviewPrairie Schooner, Barrow Street, The Journal and Poetry Daily. Polonskaya's work has been translated into Dutch, Slovenian, Latvian, Spanish and other languages.

In 2004, an English version of Polonskaya's book, A Voice, appeared in the acclaimed Writings from an Unbound Europe series by Northwestern University Press. The book was a finalist for the 2005 Corneliu M. Popescu Prize for European Poetry in Translation and for the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages (AATSEEL) prize for literature in translation. In 2011, the Oratorio-Requiem Kursk, with a libretto consisting of ten Polonskaya poems, debuted at the Melbourne Arts Festival. A bilingual edition of recent poems was published in 2012 by Zephyr Press as Paul Klee's Boat.

Polonskaya continues to live and work in Malakhovka. While at the Smith-McCullers house, 1519 Stark Ave., she plans to work on a new collection of poetry and perhaps a collection of short stories. Polonskaya will give a public reading in November.

The Marguerite and Lamar Smith Fellowship contributes to the Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians' mission to preserve the legacy of Carson McCullers, nurture American writers and musicians, educate youth and foster the literary and musical life of Columbus, Georgia, and the South. The center presents educational and cultural programs for the community, maintains an archive of materials related to the life and work of McCullers, and provides fellowships for emerging writers.

For more information, visit http://www.mccullerscenter.org or contact Courtney George, director of the center, at 706-565-4021 or at george_courtney2@ColumbusState.edu.

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Photo: Anzhelina Polonskaya