Ilya Kaminsky is author of Dancing in Odessa (Tupelo, 2004) and co-editor of The Ecco Book of International Poetry (2010) and editor of This Lamentable City: Poems of Polina Barskova(Tupelo, 2010). He teaches at San Diego State University and in the New England College M.F.A. Program. He lives in San Diego, California.
Ilya Kaminsky was born in Odessa, former Soviet Union in 1977, and is now widely regarded as the most exciting young poet in America. In 1993, his family received asylum from the American government and came to the United States. Ilya received his BA from Georgetown University and subsequently became the youngest person ever to serve as George Bennet Fellow Writer in Residence at Phillips Exeter Academy. Dancing in Odessa is his first full length book. In 2005 alone, Ilya Kaminsky won Whiting Prize, the 2005 Metcalf Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the 2005 Foreword Poetry Book of the Year award. Ilya’s homepage is ilyakaminsky.com.
Whiting Writers’ Award in 2005
The 2005 American Academy of Arts and Letters Metcalf Award
The San Diego Reader featured a cover photo and article on Ilya Kaminsky, titled “Tie This Guy Up, Make Sure He Stays at SDSU”. Here’s a sample:
So this is how a Ukrainian poet from the city of Odessa came to live in San Diego. He got his appointment at SDSU because he’s a poet and on the reputation, the strength, of his first book, published when he was only 28, called, appropriately, Dancing in Odessa. It won the Dorset Prize and was published by Tupelo Press, one of the best independent publishers of poetry in the country. It also picked up a couple of other prizes after publication. It’s an astonishingly good book, not just a good first book, or a good book by a young poet, but an astonishingly good book. Period. I could go on about why I think so, but this is not a book review. If it were, the last sentence of the review would be ‘Read this book!’