What Kind of Times Are These?: Immigrant Poets & the New Politics of Resistance

111AB, Pennsylvania Convention Center, 100 Level
Saturday, March 26, 2022
9:00 am to 10:15 am


Adrienne Rich writes: “I've walked there picking mushrooms at the edge of dread, but don't be fooled / this isn’t a Russian poem, this is not somewhere else but here.” This panel is about English language poets from Eastern Europe writing about the parallels between their homes and the US: nationalism, nativism, homophobia, and human rights abuses. We discuss new strategies of resistance for more than one culture and explore how poets co-opt the language of oppressors for their own power.

Outline & Supplemental Documents

Event Outline: Outline_for_AWP22_panel___What_Kind_of_Times_Are_These__(4).pdf



Olga Livshin is the author of A Life Replaced: Poems with Translations from Anna Akhmatova and Vladimir Gandelsman. Her work explores finding a place as a queer refugee. She is the co-organizer of From Across the Waters: Voices for Immigration.

Mariya Deykute is a teacher, writer, performing artist, and translator. Mariya received her MFA from University of Massachusetts Boston and has taught at University of Massachusetts, the OLLI Institute, PEN New England, and Tohatchi High School. She currently teaches creative writing at Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan.

Lana Spendl, a Bosnian American writer, is the author of the chapbook We Cradled Each Other in the Air. Her work focuses on displacement, trauma, and queer identities and has appeared in The Rumpus, New Ohio Review, The Greensboro Review, Zone 3, Epiphany, and Baltimore Review.

Larissa Shmailo is a poet, translator, novelist, and writing coach. She is leader of the workshop Writing Resilience for writers affected by trauma, addiction, and/or mental illness. She is the original English-language translator of the avant-garde opera Victory over the Sun by Alexei Kruchenych.

Anna Halberstadt is a poet, translator, and author of two poetry collections in English—Vilnius Diary and Green in a Landscape with Ashes—and two in Russian—Transit and Gloomy Sun—as well as American poetry translations Selected Selected by Eileen Myles and Nocturnal Fire by Edward Hirsch.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center