A Close Reading of Fifty-three poems by Semyon Izrailevich Lipkin (Hendon Press)


The Jewish, Odesa-born poet, Semyon Izrailevich Lipkin (1911–2003), was a central figure in modern Russian literature, although until recently he was best known in the West for his role in preserving the manuscript of Vasily Grossman’s Life and Fate from the KGB. As a Soviet journalist in WW2, he witnessed and wrote about the horrors of Stalingrad which led the Nobel Laureate Josef Brodsky to refer to him as ‘Russia’s war poet’. Later, during the years of Stalin’s deportation of ethnic groups, Lipkin translated and preserved the language and writings of Tajiks, Uzbeks, Tatars, Kirgiz, Karbadians, and other Soviet nationalities and in doing so became a living repository of their cultures for which he risked censure and arrest from the Soviet authorities. The poems in this volume show the remarkable range of Lipkin’s work: his Jewish faith, Stalin’s oppression, the Holocaust, and the spiritual fate of mankind and reveal why as a poet he was revered by great Russian writers such as Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Anna Akhmatova and Josef Brodsky.

No Russian poet has written poetry over such a long period as Lipkin … The thousand or so poems he wrote over seventy five years are all beautifully crafted, thoughtful and original.
– Professor Donald Rayfield


Yvonne Green is a poet descended from Boukharian Jews. Her pamphlet, Boukhara (2007), won The Poetry Business Book & Pamphlet Competition. She has published four full-length collections with Smith|Doorstop, including; The AssayHonoured and Jam & Jerusalem. Her volume After Semyon Izrailevich Lipkin was a UK Poetry Book Society Translation Choice in 2011.

Additional information

Dimensions 21 × 13.8 × 0.6 cm

Book, eBook (ePub)


9781739778521, 9781739778552

Publication Year

July 2023