Ann Kjellberg, a former contributing editor at The New York Review, is editor of the literary magazine Little Star and Book Post, a subscription-based book review. She is the literary executor of the estate of Joseph Brodsky. (May 2020)
Jonathan Galassi’s new novel, Muse, is built around a charming, if unlikely, premise: that an important American poet could become as famous as a pop star or a screen siren or an athlete. His heroine, Ida Perkins, created a sensation at age eighteen as a Bryn Mawr undergraduate with her …
We now live in a time of which Joseph Brodsky was an advance scout—a time in which many writers operate beyond their original borders and outside their mother tongues, often, like Brodsky, bearing witness to violence and disruption, often answering, through art, to those experiences, in language refracted, by necessity, through other language. In Brodsky’s time there was a cluster of poets, some from the margins of empire, some, like Brodsky, severed from their roots—Walcott, Heaney, Paz, Milosz, to name a few—who brought with them commanding traditions as well as the imprint of history’s dislocations. We would do well now to attend to their song.
In celebration of what would have been Brodsky’s seventy-fifth birthday that week, a group of Brodsky fellows in art and literature will read from their work at the Anna Akhmatova Museum in St. Petersburg.