Lida Yusupova – “video…”


video: a russian soldier in the snow
instead of a face a raw flesh hole
this is russia
instead of a face a hole
instead of russia a hole
everything that was russia a hole
a new reality
a hole

1 March 2022

Translated by Ainsley Morse*
Series edited by Emilia Mirazchiyska

Original text:

видео: солдат на снегу
вместо лица мясная дыра
это россия
вместо лица дыра
вместо россии дыра
всё что было россией дыра
новая реальность

1 марта 2022 года

Ainsley’s major interest is twentieth-century Russian poetry, although since she started off with a master’s in Comparative Slavic literatures from UNC-Chapel Hill (where she focused on twentieth-century Serbian and Yugoslav literature), she does her best to keep a foot in the Yugoslav door. She has recently been having a fine time with the phenomenal Yugoslav avant-garde, with special attention to Miroslav Krleza. In studying poetry, Ainsley is partial to close readings combined with a literary-historical approach, with attention to social relations and genealogies, real and imagined.

Previous articleLida Yusupova
Next articleToto – Falling in Between
Lida Yusupova
Lida Yusupova is the author of several books of poetry and prose, including her most recent book of poetry, “Shutter” [Shtorka] (Centrifuga, 2021); “The Scar We Know” (Cicada Press, 2020; English translation and original poems); “Verdicts” [Prigovory] (NLO, 2020); “Dead Dad” (Kolonna Publications, 2016); “Ritual C-4” (Argo-Risk, 2013); “Irasaliml” (Petropress, 1995); the prose collection “Love Has Four Hands” [U liubvi chetyre ruki] (Kvir, 2008; co-authored with Margarita Meklina); as well as many publications in magazines and journals. She received the Razlichiye Prize for her book “Dead Dad” in 2017 and the Vavilon Prize for her poetry in 2021. Her works has been translated into several languages. "Lida Yusupova's work has facilitated the rise of a new generation of queer Russophone poets." (Nashville Review) "And it is Yusupova—hailing from Leningrad but now living in Canada and Belize, and significantly older than most of her peers—who has shaped the poetics of this new brand of feminist poetry, both formally and semantically. She popularized the movement’s trademark long, free verse narrative poems with their run-on lines and documentary aesthetic. She moved the body, in abundant physiological detail, into focus. And she defined violence as a dominant subject." (Josephine von Zitzewitz, WWB Magazine) "Lida Yusupova was born in Soviet Union, in Petrozavodsk—a small city that in Soviet times was both ordinarily provincial and unusually open to the West, and even to outer space. But, alas, she slept through the famous 1977 alien visitation. After she was forces to abandon her studies at Leningrad State University (having been accused of being both deprived and anti-Soviet), Yusupova worked at the post office. In 1996, Yusupova left Russia, first to Jerusalem and then for Toronto, where she spends time now as well. In 2004, Yusupova moved to Belize, to the island of Ambergris Caye (San Pedro) which, in its beauty and openness, came close to being a perfect world. But this was also where she was nearly murdered by a burglar who climbed into her apartment at 3am on December 13, 2006." (Ainsley Morse, “The Scar We Know”).