Katherine E. Young is the author of Day of the Border Guards, 2014 Miller Williams Arkansas Poetry Prize finalist, and two chapbooks. Her poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, The Iowa Review, Subtropics, and many others. Young is also the translator of Two Poems by Inna Kabysh; her translations of Russian and Russophone authors have won prizes in international competitions and been published widely in the U.S. and abroad; several have been made into short films. Young is a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts translation fellow and currently serves as the inaugural poet laureate for Arlington, Virginia.
Day of the Border Guards
Day of the Border Guards, the debut poetry collection from Katherine E. Young, is set entirely in Russia and the countries of the former Soviet Union. The ghosts of Russian writers Pushkin, Mandelstam, Tsvetayeva, and many others wander through these poems, making tea, fighting with their relatives, cursing faithless lovers. Bulgakov’s heroine Margarita describes meeting the Master; Lermontov’s grandmother worries that the young poet is wasting his life. Lady Macbeth is alive and well and living in post-Soviet Georgia. A man falls through the ice into a ruptured hot water pipe, nuclear reactors melt down, an airplane lands on Red Square. Perestroika arrives and departs, like other fashions. A marriage falters. The phone rings in the middle of the night in a Siberian hotel.
Stanley Plumly writes of this collection:
"Katherine Young’s Day of the Border Guards is very much about crossing borders – those between reality and, in this case, Russia. Which is to say she offers us a Russia of direct experience and the transformed country of the imagination. Her text is dense with marvelous detail, dramatic intensity, and intentions that are unmistakable in their insight and judgment. Young chooses to represent both herself and the voices of various personae, sometimes, in fact, as one blended voice: hers and Akhmatova, hers and Mandelstam."
Two Poems by Inna Kabysh (translations)2014
Awards and Recognition
- 2017 National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellow
- 2016-2018 Poet Laureate, Arlington, VA
- 2015 Hawthornden Fellow
- 2104 Miller Williams Arkansas Poetry Prize finalist
- 2014 Joseph Brodsky-Stephen Spender Prize (third place)
- 2011 Joseph Brodsky-Stephen Spender Prize (third place)