Iana Tokareva


Program Bio
March-April 2007: University of Mississippi Oxford and New York
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Iana Tokareva is a poet, translator and singer/songwriter. Her work is featured in The Anthology of Contemporary Russian Women Poets (University of Iowa Press, 2005). In her own words:

I was born in Moscow in 1976. I graduated from the Department of History and Literature at the Russian State University for Humanities, majoring in American Culture and minoring in Italian, hardly knowing anything about either. I taught English at the same University and later at a jazz college, where the notion of English was somewhat reduced – in fact, to the point of mere pronunciation. In 2000, I worked as a translator and interpreter for ABC – my only experience of direct contact with mass media, and the only time I was more or less aware of the current state of affairs in my native country.

I am a translator of classical and contemporary Italian poetry, especially the verses of Eugenio Montale, the 1975 Nobel Prize winner, who became the love of my life and my main scientific concern as soon as I started learning Italian. I have also translated several poems and songs from English, Yiddish, German, Swedish, and loads of prose and literary criticism from English and Italian. I’ve been working as a private English tutor for many years. At present, I am a literary editor of internet sites devoted to British art, Jewish books and Japanese films, a private vocal student and a member of an amateur classical choir.

I started to write poetry and compose songs at school, but I first dared show them to the public in my third year at the university. My poems entered the short-list of the "Debut" Prize for young authors in 2001, the last year I could be considered young according to its rules. Although no longer young, I am still an author. My book of poems, Warm Clothes, (Tyopliye veschi) was published in 2004 and won a Moscow Score literary award for the best debut book the same year. My poems, translations, critical sketches and memoir prose have been published in various periodicals both on- and off-line.


  • Read Tokareva's work on (in Russian)