John High


New Poetry
“Sometimes questions are answers and answers are questions in these dialogic verses. Death, love, history, sorrow, language, joy and prayer are subjects masterfully interwoven in John High’s bardic and ecstatic lines. ‘you are everything you are not’ is an exquisite sequence. In the words of the poet: ‘The story never leaves you.’” —Uche Nduka
"Imagine a novel whose setting is dark and indeterminate, whose nameless characters are shadowy, and whose circular plot unfolds timelessly -- and you will be imagining John High's 'a book of unknowing.' These powerful poems, whose language rushes past in a torrent of disorienting yet evocative images and sounds, will pull you out of this world and into another, that matters a great deal more, where all that you think you know becomes doubtful." —Norman Fischer
"...High turns elegy to discovery while retaining the truth of sadness, and matches brevity with a generosity that not only grasps, but also loves, the human condition." —Cole Swensen
About John High's Prose
“Soaked in night visions and pierced through by jagged memory, John High's work tells that peculiarly American story in which, as Faulkner once said, 'The past isn't forgotten, it isn't even the past.’ John High's Virginia backwaters call to mind the feral, hallucinogenic American landscapes of Cormac McCarthy's Child of God, as well as Faulkner's Sanctuary…” —Albert Mobilio
“In what is best described as a book length prose poem, he [John High] attempts to uncover the un-narrative that lies beneath all tales of loss and redemption. In this tale set in Russia, he moves unhesitatingly across centuries, fusing the spiritual travails of the Middle Ages with the economic woes of post-Soviet life. This self-reflexive tour de force reminds us that high art need not be free of religious and political ideation. His prose gives the lie to the distinctions between poetry and fiction; its intricately gnomic language suggests the eternal and the apocalyptic almost offhandedly, without resorting to elaborate stagecraft. High conjures dreamscapes which retain the bracing tactility of the real...—The Village Voice Literary Supplement
Poetry Translation

Crossing Centuries: The New Russian Poetry

Edited by John High with Vitaly Chernetsky, Thomas Epstein, Lyn Hejinian, Patrick Henry, Gerald Janecek, Vadim Mesyats, Leonard Schwartz, and Laura Weeks.

Crossing Centuries, including the work of approximately fifty translators and ninety poets, focuses on transformations in Russian poetry from the 1970s to the present with particular attention to the Brezhnev years and the profound changes in language and values that followed the collapse of the Soviet regime. The new poetry provides important insights into the interlocking worlds of poetry and politics as well as insights into the effect that postmodern sensibilities have had outside western Europe and the United States. The anthology gives particular attention to poetry by women, by gays, and by ethnic minorities in a culture that at its core remains deeply traditional.

The poets: Shamshad Abdullaev, Gennady Aigi, Mikhail Aizenberg, Ivan Akhmetev, Alexsandr Anashevich, Yury Arabov, Vladimir Aristov, Nikolai Baitov, Aleksandr Barash, Polina Barskova, Evgeny Bunimovich, Natalya Chernykh, Yanka Diagileva, Arkady Dragomoschenko, Vladimir Druk, Aleksandr Eremenko, Galina Ermoshina, Elena Fanailova, Vladimir Gandelsman, Dmitry Golynko-Volfson, Faina Grimberg, Andrei Gritsman, Yuly Gugolev, Igor Irtenev, Nina Ishrenko, Svetlana Ivanova, Vitaly Kalpidy, Elena Katsyuba, Evgeny Kharitonov, Nadezhda Kondakova, Kirill Kovaldzhi, Petr Krasnoperov, Victor Krivulin, Sergei Kruglov, Eduard Kulemin, Yulia Kunina, Vyacheslav Kuritsyn, Ilya Kutik, Dmitry Kuzmin, Evgenia Lavut, Aleksandr Levin, Sveta Litvak, Stanislav Lvovsky, Maria Maksimova, Vadim Mesyats, Pavel Mityushev, Yaroslav Mogutin, Andrei Monastyrsky, Rea Nikonova, Mikhail Nilin, Ruslan Nuridinov, Nikolai Palchevsky, Alexei Parschikov, Aleksandra Petrova, Dmitry Prigov, Aleksei Purin, Lev Rubenstein, Genrikh Sapgir, Yan Satunovsky, Andrei Sen-Sen'kov, Aleksandr Shatalov, Mark Shatunovsky, Tatiana Shcherbina, Valery Shubinsky, Elena Shvartz, Alesandr Skidan, Yuliya Skorodumova, Sergei Stratanovsky, Vladimir Strochkov, Mikhail Sukhotin, Aleksandr Tkachenko, Vitalina Tkhorzhevskaya, Vladimir Tuchkov, Marina Ukhanova, Aleksandr Ulanov, Liudmila Viazmitinova, Dmitry Vodennikov, Andrei Vorkunov, Dmitry Volchek, Arkady Zastyrets, Sergei Zavyalov, Ivan Zhdanov, Olga Zondberg.

The editors & translators: Elena Balashova, Charles Borkhuis, Charles Cantalupo, Vitaly Chernetsky, Alex Cigale, Jean Day, Sara Dickinson, Yana Djin, Joseph Donahue, Thomas Epstein, Edward Foster, Peter France, Forrest Gander, Andrei Gritsman, Patrick Henry, Lyn Hejinian, John High, Bob Holman, Gerald Janecek, Lisa Jarnot, Andrew Joron, Gregory Kapelyan, J. Kates, Simon Kent, Aleksandr Kaluzhski, Thoreau Lovell, Scott McLeod, Vadim Mesyats, Michael Molnar, Kevin Moss, Harriet Moorland, Michelle Murphy, Mark Nowak, Katya Olmstead, Eugene Ostashevsky, Michael Palmer, Evgeny Pavlov, David Powelstock, Kristin Prevallet, Stephen Ratcliffe, Darlene Reddaway, Kit Robinson, Stephen Sartarelli, Leonard Schwartz, Aaron Shurin, Richard Sieburth, Eleni Sikelianos, Gerald S. Smith, Cole Swensen, Tod Thilleman, Sam Truitt, Joanna Trzeciak, Gyorgy Vlasenko, Andrew Wachtel, Julia Ward, Lewis Warsh, Lindsay F. Watton, Laura Weeks, Donald Wesling, Mary Winegarden, Margarita Zilberman.