Dancing in Odessa
Author: Ilya Kaminsky
Publisher: Tupelo Press (2004)
Impossibly young, this Russian immigrant makes the English language sing with the sheer force of his music, a wondrous irony, as Ilya Kaminsky has been deaf since the age of four. In Odessa itself, “A city famous for its drunk tailors, huge gravestones of rabbis, horse owners and horse thieves, and most of all, for its stuffed and baked fish,” Kaminksy dances with the strangest — and the most recognizable — of our bedfellows in a distinctive and utterly brilliant language, a language so particular and deft that it transcends all of our expectations, and is by turns luminous and universal.
"…a remarkable debut, one that affords a rare and exhilarating pleasure: the sense of being at the start of something marvelous."
"A superb and vigorous imagination, a poetic talent of rare and beautiful proportions, whose work is surely destined to be widely and enthusiastically noticed and applauded. This is the start of a brilliant career."
"Kaminsky is more than a promising young poet; he is a poet of promise fulfilled. I am in awe of his gifts."
Passionate, daring to laugh and weep, direct yet unexpected, Ilya Kaminsky's poetry has a glorious tilt and scope.