Selected Poems

Trade Paper – $19.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-2907-8
Publication Date
June 2013
Page Count
404 pages
Trim Size
5.125 x 7.75

Selected Poems

James McGavran’s new translation of Vladimir Maya­kovsky’s poetry is the first to fully capture the Futurist and Soviet agitprop artist’s voice. Because of his work as a propagandist for the Soviet regime, and because of his posthumous enshrinement by Stalin as “the best and most talented poet of our Soviet epoch,” Mayakovsky has most often been interpreted—and translated—within a political context. McGavran’s translations reveal a more nuanced poet who possessed a passion for word creation and lin­guistic manipulation. Mayakovsky’s bombastic metaphors and formal élan shine through in these translations, and McGavran’s commentary provides vital information on Mayakovsky, illuminating the poet’s many references to the Russian literary canon, his contemporaries in art and culture, and Soviet figures and policies.

About the Author

Vladmir Mayakovsky (1893–1930), one of Russia’s greatest twentieth-century writers, was a Futurist, early Bolshevik, and champion of the avant-garde.


James H. McGavran III is a visiting assistant professor of Russian at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota.