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Leo Yankevich is one of the leading poets of our time. Journey Late at Night: Poems and Translations is the largest collection of his works to date. The volume begins with 135 original poems which span four decades of creativity and touch upon existential, metaphysical, historical, and political themes, revealing astonishing versatility and great breadth of mind.
Reminding us that great poets are also great translators, Yankevich concludes the volume with 18 renditions from German, Russian, and Polish of works by some of Europe’s finest 19th and 20th century poets, including Rainer Maria Rilke, Gottfried Benn, Georg Trakl, Mikhail Lermontov, Alexander Blok, and Adam Mickiewicz.
Praise for Journey Late at Night:
“The poems of Leo Yankevich are dour, Slavic, and wine dark. Clear, cultured, and concise, he places his clarity like emphasis in a painting, calling to mind a deep forest where the occasional ray of sun breaks through. Strangely, his pessimism and religious fervor don’t conflict, but seem to complement the whole. A formalist and yet a mystic, he knows his forms so well he can play with them, accelerating or lessening his speed to suit the syllables. I believe Leo Yankevich to be one of the best poets of the past hundred years.”
“Leo Yankevich looks with a hard eye on time, on God, on man. His voice is rich and deep. His verse is well-measured. No one is spared his hard and level gaze, not even himself.”
“When it comes to politics, Leo Yankevich and I probably disagree in many ways. When it comes to poetry, I’m one of his biggest fans. As demonstrated by this welcome collection, his work is spot on – direct, clear, evocative. And powerful. Many of these poems will stop you in your tracks. His translations are masterful, too. It’s great to see this richness brought together in one volume!”
About the Author
Leo Yankevich was born into a family of Roman Catholic Irish-Polish immigrants on October 30, 1961. He grew up and attended high school in Farrell, Pennsylvania, a small steel town in the Rust Belt of Middle America. He then studied History and Polish at Alliance College, Cambridge Springs, Penn., receiving a BA in 1984. Later that year he travelled to Poland on a fellowship to study at the centuries-old Jagiellonian University in Krakow. A staunch anticommunist, he played an active role in the dissident movement in that country, and was arrested and beaten badly on a few occasions by the communist security forces. After the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989, he decided to settle permanently in Poland. Since that time he has lived in Gliwice (Gleiwitz), an industrial city in Upper Silesia.
His books include The Unfinished Crusade, The Last Silesian, The Language of Birds, Grief’s Herbs (after Stanisław Grochowiak),The Gnosis of Gnomes, Epistle from the Dark, The Golem of Gleiwitz, and Tikkun Olam (San Francisco: Counter-Currents, 2012). His website is http://leoyankevich.com/ .