Lev Ozerov’s Portraits Without Frames offers fifty shrewd and moving glimpses into the lives of Soviet writers, composers, and artists caught between the demands of art and politics. Some of the subjects—like Anna Akhmatova, Isaac Babel, Andrey Platonov, and Dmitry Shostakovich—are well-known, others less so. All are evoked with great subtlety and vividness, as is the fraught and dangerous time in which they lived. Composed in free verse of deceptively artless simplicity, Ozerov’s portraits are like nothing else in Russian poetry.
Editor and translator Boris Dralyuk and translator Irina Mashinski will read from Ozerov’s remarkable portraits and discuss the author’s life and work.
Boris Dralyuk is the executive editor of the Los Angeles Review of Books. His recent translations include Isaac Babel’s Red Cavalry and Odessa Stories and Mikhail Zoshchenko’s Sentimental Tales. He is the editor of 1917: Stories and Poems from the Russian Revolution and co-editor of The Penguin Book of Russian Poetry and Lev Ozerov’s Portraits Without Frames (published by NYRB Classics).
Irina Mashinski is the author of nine books of poetry in Russian. She is the co-editor (with Robert Chandler and Boris Dralyuk) of The Penguin Book of Russian Poetry (2015). She has received several Russian literary awards and, with Boris Dralyuk, First Prize in the 2012 Joseph Brodsky/Stephen Spender Translation Prize competition.