On Joseph Brodsky and suffering through, by Melissa Green

Some days it seems that we have seldom lived in darker times. But writers such as Melissa Green, now living in Boston, are here to remind us about history, dark history — and that if others can survive and resist it, maybe we can, too.

Here is Melissa, a revered poet and memoirist, on her friendship with Nobel Laureate Joseph Brodsky. Brodsky was expelled from the Soviet Union in 1972 after much persecution. He had been  condemned to a Soviet mental institution and spent five years in an Arctic labor camp before and gaining asylum in the United States. Here, at the Dia Foundation in New York City, Melissa Green connects both to him and to history and an entire line of Russian poets who persevered through unthinkable suffering due to the regimes they lived under.

 

Melissa  is the author of three books of poetry, The Squanicook Eclogues, Fifty-Two and Magpiety: New and Selected Poems; and two memoirs, Color Is the Suffering of Light and The Linen Way. Soundings, a book of twenty-two essays about her work by prominent American poets, edited by Sumita Chakraborty and published by Arrowsmith Press, was released in December 2016. She lives in Boston, Massachusetts.

About louisewleonard

Author of 52 Men, 2015. Excerpts in The Rumpus, Tin House, Fiction Advocate and Gargoyle.
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