Kaminsky went on to earn a BA in political science at Georgetown University and a JD at the University of California’s Hastings College of the Law. With Paloma Capanna, he co-founded Poets for Peace, which sponsors poetry readings across the globe to support relief work. He has also worked as a clerk for the National Immigration Law Center and for Bay Area Legal Aid.
With language at once ecstatic, plain, and infused with fairy tale, Kaminsky’s poems span ages and voices to summon the stuff of life: love, grief, joy, and laughter. “His poems move through the lives of others, known and unknown, connecting the sweet and bitter stories of lost worlds,” notes E.M. Kaufman in the Library Journal. Kaminsky is the author of Dancing in Odessa (2004), which won the Tupelo Press Dorset Prize, the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Metcalf Award, and ForeWord Magazine’s Best Poetry Book of the Year award, and has been translated into French and Romanian. Traveling Musicians (2007) is a selection of his poems originally written in Russian.
He co-edited, with Susan Harris, the Ecco Anthology of International Poetry (2010), and edited and co-translated Polina Barskova’s This Lamentable City (2010). He has also served as the editor of the online journal In Posse Review.
Kaminsky’s honors include a Whiting Writers’ Award, the Milton Center’s Award for Excellence in Writing, the Florence Kahn Memorial Award, Poetry magazine’s Levinson Prize as well as their Ruth Lilly Fellowship, Philips Exeter Academy’s George Bennett Fellowship, and a Lannan Foundation fellowship.
He lives in San Diego.
Poems By ILYA KAMINSKY
- from Deaf Republic: 10
- from Deaf Republic: 11
- from Deaf Republic: 14
- from Deaf Republic: 15
- from Deaf Republic: 16
More poems by Ilya Kaminsky (17 poems)
- from Deaf Republic: 1
- from Deaf Republic: 3
- from Deaf Republic: 4
- from Deaf Republic: 6
- from Deaf Republic: 8
- from Deaf Republic: 9
- from Deaf Republic: 12. Sonya Speaks Slowly, As If Unaffected
- from Deaf Republic: 13. For My Brother, Tony
- from Deaf Republic: 2. 9AM Bombardment
- from Deaf Republic: 7. Sonya Considers Happiness
- from Deaf Republic: 5. And They Drag The Living Body In The Sunlit Piazza
- Author’s Prayer
Translated By Ilya Kaminsky
- “A kiss on the forehead” | Translator's Notes
- from “An Attempt at Jealousy” | Translator's Notes
- “I am happy living simply” | Translator's Notes
- from “Poems for Blok” | Translator's Notes
- from “Poems for Moscow” | Translator's Notes
- from “Poems to Czechoslovakia” | Translator's Notes
- from “The Desk” | Translator's Notes
- “Where does such tenderness come from?” | Translator's Notes
Articles By ILYA KAMINSKY
Audio & PodcastsThe Poetry Magazine Podcast
Rhapsodies and Rude Epics
The editors of the magazine discuss Ilya Kaminsky's “Deaf Republic”, Inger Christensen's musical poetry, and Hanoch Levin's “Lives of the Dead.”
"you and your olives, me and my rhyme"
Poems by Geoffrey Brock and Peter Cole, plus translations of Marina Tsvetaeva by Jean Valentine and Ilya Kaminsky.
LIFE SPAN 1977–