Maria Stepanova
American Academy in Rome, fall 2010.

Maria Stepanova was born June, 9, 1972, in Moscow. She graduated from Moscow Literary Institute (1995). Her works have been published in numerous magazines including "Zerkalo", "Znamya", "Kriticheskaya massa", "Novoe Literaturnoe Obozreniye", etc. Stepanova is the author of seven poetry collections. She won the "Znamya" magazine prize in 1993, the Pasternak Prize in 2005, the Andrey Bely Prize in 2005, the Hubert Burda Fund Prize (Germany) for new eastern European literature in 2006, and the Big Moscow Score Prize in 2009. Her poems have been translated into English, Hebrew, Italian, German, Finnish, French and other languages.

The poetics of Maria Stepanova, at once contemporary and timeless, disproves the notion that there is a crisis of in traditional prosody. Stepanova experiments with the authenticity of the author's utterance, applying the author's idiosyncrasies to a poetic persona. It's not only a figure of speech for her, but an act of a personal will, an attempt to break through to the subject. Stepanova's poetic language is very distinctive: word forms pass through deformation on every level, bringing new senses, both actual and potential, to light.


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