It’s always a pleasure to speak to the poet and radio host Lois P. Jones, on or off the air. She is the perfect interlocutor — warm, curios, enthusiastic, and remarkably sensitive to language. A couple of months ago we sat down at the KPFK studio to discuss 1917 and The Penguin Book of Russian Poetry, touching on some of my favorite poets, including Anna Prismanova, Arseny Tarkovsky, and Irina Mashinski.
I was born too late to meet Prismanova or Tarkovsky, but I am lucky enough to count Irina Mashinski among my teachers and friends. This month, she and I are putting the finishing touches on volume 7 of Cardinal Points, the annual journal of Slavic literature in translation that she cofounded with her late husband, the brilliant Oleg Woolf, and Robert Chandler. Cardinal Points is now sponsored by Brown University’s Department of Slavic Studies, and our new volume is due out in October.