Alien Matter

Regina Derieva


ISBN 1-933132-22-1    $10.00    80 pages

Joseph Brodsky wrote about Derieva's poetry: "The real authors here are poetry and freedom themselves."


Tomas Venclova (Professor of Slavic Languages and Literature at Yale University. Contributor to The New York Review of Books and The New Republic) wrote:


"The poetry of Regina Derieva is an outstanding and unusual phenomenon. It corresponds to the poetical experience of Mandelstam, Tsvetaeva and Brodsky, and at the same time keeps pace not only with contemporary Russian but also perhaps world literature. Regina Derieva is a modern poet who employs not only traditional but also free verse. Yet she writes out of time, or rather, in the time of the Old Testament and Revelation. While reading Regina Derieva's poems, it occurred to me that tradition is something greater than only poetic tradition. Her poetic creations call to mind the

Word -- Psalms and Prophets, and especially the parables of the Gospels.


Following elevated models, Regina Derieva sets in motion secret resources of speech, discovering its paradoxical nature. Lively beat of dictionary, unexpected substitution of notions and interchange of bitterly re-interpreted quotations give her poetry profundity, and quite often, epigrammatical precision. Her images are rather capricious and elusive, at first sight even accidental; but this is deceptive accidention, which is only the other side of necessity."

Regina Derieva (1949- 2013) has published twenty books of poetry, essays, and prose. Her most recent books are a collection of prose entitled The World is Full of Fools (Moscow, "Text". 2002) and Sobranie Dorog: Selected Poems" (St. Petersburg, "Aletheia". 2005.)


Her books have been translated into English, French, and Italian. Regina Derieva's book in Swedish, Himmelens Geometri, edited and translated by Bengt Jangfeldt, is published by Norma, 2003.


Her work has appeared in the Modern Poetry in Translation, Salt, Poetry East, Cross Currents, Notre Dame Review as well as in Russian magazines. She has translated poetry by Thomas Merton and contemporary American, Australian and British poets.