Everburning Pilot

Available for Special Order
Everburning Pilot

Translated by Sibelan Forrester '83


A bilingual edition of Leonid Schwab's poetry with an introduction by Maria Stepanova.

Leonid Schwab is an integral figure for the understanding of Russian contemporary poetry; he's also one of its least conforming members. While remaining singularly unique, Schwab has had a liberating effect on a number of Russophone poets during the past two decades. In his strange poems, elimination of the lyric subject and heightened narrativity unite with masterfully measured lines to create worlds that remain perpetually beguiling.

The verses trace the contours of something along the lines of happiness, they delineate its momentary trajectories, indicate the direction--until a new shift exposes the next, still uninhabited tract of invisible territory. This strange, dazzling, twilit universe--inhabited by bison, electricians, and short circuits--is something like a promise that you cannot not believe: Schwab knows what he's talking about.--Maria Stepanova

Borges tells of imperial cartographers attempting to construct a map of the empire that was the size of the empire. Discolored tatters of the abandoned project still exist in the desert; beggars and animals live in them. He might have been talking about the poetry of Leonid Schwab. Schwab's astonishing semilegible living pictures, poetic tatters of imperial dreams, studies in slowed-down, polyphonic time, remnants of an unwritable, strangely male epic are among the most hauntingly beautiful poems written in Russian today. I love them but I could never set them to music, a composer friend says, 'they are music'--Eugene Ostashevsky

Leonid Schwab is a poet who creates worlds that oscillate between past and present, stillness and passage, mystery and nightmare. His poems travel far and wide, taking the reader on unexpected visits to Chkalov, Hebron, Chicago, Poland, Manchuria, and even the Moon. Schwab's poetry transcends rigid cultural frames and national allegiances by engaging in dynamic experiments with border-crossing, diasporic aesthetics, and homelessness.--Alex Moshkin


Publication Date: 
February 20, 2022