From Across the Waters: Poetry of the Soviet Diaspora

From Across the Waters: Poetry of the Soviet Diaspora

This event brings together women of the Soviet diaspora who either came to this country as immigrants or refugees themselves or or whose identity has been shaped by the refugee heritage of their parents. We will stand together, echo our enduring words, and celebrate the present-day lives of our scattered community. We invite you to join us in poetry and open dialogue afterwards.

Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach ( emigrated from Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine as a Jewish refugee when she was six years old. She holds an MFA in Poetry from the University of Oregon and is a Ph.D. candidate in Comparative Literature at the University of Pennsylvania. Julia is the author of The Many Names for Mother, winner of the Stan and Tom Wick Poetry prize, forthcoming from Kent State University Press in the fall of 2019, as well as the chapbook The Bear Who Ate the Stars (Split Lip Press, 2014). Her newest poems appear in POETRYNashville ReviewTriQuarterly, and Waxwing. Julia is the Editor-in-Chief of Construction Magazine ( and writes a blog about motherhood (

Olga Livshin was born in the Soviet Union and came to the United States with her family as a teenager. Her poetry, essays, and translations from Russian appear in the Kenyon Review, Poetry International, Jacket, and other journals. She has a collection forthcoming from Poets and Traitors Press.

Originally from Kishinev, Moldova, Ruth Madievsky is a poet, fiction writer, and essayist living in Boston. She is the author of "Emergency Brake" (Tavern Books, 2016), winner of the Wrolstad Contemporary Poetry Series. Her work has appeared in Tin House, The American Poetry Review, Kenyon Review, Gulf Coast, ZYZZYVA, and elsewhere. Currently, she is working on her second poetry collection and a novel-in-stories about urban loneliness and the opiate epidemic. You can find her on twitter at @ruthmadievsky and at

Luisa Muradyan is originally from the Ukraine and is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Houston. She is the author of American Radiance (University of Nebraska Press, 2018) and the winner of the 2017 Prairie Schooner Book Prize. She was also the Editor of Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts from 2016-2018 and previous work can be found at Poetry International, the Los Angeles Review, Ninth Letter, and West Branch among others.

Tanya Paperny is a writer, editor, and translator in Washington, D.C. Her journalism, essays, poetry, and literary translations have appeared in The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Washington City Paper, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, The Literary Review, Words Without Borders, VICE, Pacific Standard, and elsewhere. Tanya is the recipient of fellowships from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, the Vermont Studio Center, and OMI International Arts Center. The child of Soviet Jewish refugees, Tanya's work deals with the aftermath of atrocity.

Alina Pleskova is an immigrant from Moscow turned proud Philadelphian. She co-edits bedfellows, a literary magazine that catalogs discussion of sex, desire, & intimacy. Poems appear in American Poetry Review, Cosmonauts Avenue, Entropy, Peach Mag, & more. Her first chapbook, What Urge Will Save Us, was published by Spooky Girlfriend Press in 2017. She's working on a full-length & telling you so, for accountability. Find her at: & @nahhhlina.

This event is part of UPenn's Theorizing Colloquium Series,
which is made possible by the Program in Comparative Literature & Literary Theory

The event is also co-sponsored by UPenn's Jewish Studies Program

Event date: 
Saturday, April 27, 2019 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm
Event address: 
Penn Book Center
130 S. 34th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104