Vera Pavlova (2010)

For the O.B. Hardison Poetry Series 2010, Vera Pavlova read from her work in the Folger's Elizabethan Theatre on November 8, 2010.

Vera Pavlova

Moscow-born Vera Pavlova is one of the best-selling poets in Russia. An intimate and immediate simplicity marks Pavlova’s work, her words lingering with you long after you have turned the page. Her work has been translated into eighteen languages. She is the author of fourteen collections of poetry, four opera librettos, and numerous essays on musicology. If There Is Something To Desire is her first full collection in English. Pavlova’s husband, professional interpreter and translator Steven Seymour, will join her on stage for a bilingual evening of poetry as he translates her poems for an English-speaking audience. His English translations of Vera Pavlova’s poems have appeared in Tin House and The New Yorker.


Visit Pavlova's official website.

Watch Vera Pavlova and Steven Seymour on the PBS NewsHour.

Read several of Pavlova's poems which appeared in The New Yorker.

From If There Is Something to Desire:


If only I knew from what tongue

your I love you has been translated,

if I could find the original,

consult the dictionary

to be sure the rendition is exact:

the translator is not at fault!

From If There Is Something to Desire by Vera Pavlova © 2009 by Vera Pavlova, translation copyright © 2010 by Steven Seymour, published by Alfred A. Knopf. Used with permission of the author.