Born in the USSR, Raised in Canada: A Reading in Support of Ukraine

Please join me May 15 on Zoom for this event. Yelena Furman and I will be hosting!

Punctured Lines

Punctured Lines is delighted to bring you our next event–a reading and a Q&A with six established authors who were born in the former Soviet Union and immigrated to Canada as children. In their fiction and nonfiction they explore topics of multicultural identity, life under communism, Jewish culture, food, history, and making a home in a strange land.

Please register on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/born-in-the-ussr-raised-in-canada-a-reading-in-support-of-ukraine-tickets-315030252967

We began planning this event before Russia’s renewed, full-scale attack on Ukraine, and we want to acknowledge that this war is resonating deeply throughout the diasporic community. We feel that it’s particularly important for us to come together at this time, to listen to each other’s stories and to amplify each other’s voices and resources in support of the people of Ukraine in their fight against the Russian totalitarian regime. We also want to extend our support to those citizens of the Russian Federation resisting and fleeing…

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Quieter Than Water, Lower Than Grass: Growing Up Afraid in Russia, my Essay in Narrative Magazine

I’m deeply grateful to my friends at Narrative Magazine for publishing a personal essay that was born as a reaction to the news of Russia’s new round of war in Ukraine. As so many people around the world, I watch the developing news with horror and with absolute certainty that Putin must be stopped.

On February 24, 2022, the day Putin ordered Russian forces to launch a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, I turned forty-three years old. As Ukrainians began to mount a fierce response to the aggressor, watching the bombs fall from afar, I was astonished and awed by their courage and determination to stop Putin’s army. I was also from-the-bottom-of-my-heart grateful. Like many of my peers who grew up in Russia, I have spent most of my life afraid of violence. I have not had the courage to face my fear but instead tried to outrun it.

I was born in 1979, in Leningrad, to a Jewish family. At about eight years old, when I decided I was old enough to pick up the family’s telephone, I took a call for “Nikolai Dmitrievich.”

https://www.narrativemagazine.com/issues/winter-2022/nonfiction/quieter-water-lower-grass-growing-afraid-russia-olga-zilberbourg

Particular thanks to editors Carol Edgarian and Mimi Kusch and to Jack Schiff for working with me on this publication.

Direct Help Needed for Ukrainian Translators

Please help Ukrainian translators and interpreters doing necessary work in the wartime.

Punctured Lines

Punctured Lines is forwarding a call for donations to a new fund, the UATI Support Fund, to assist members of the UATI, the Українська асоціація перекладачів / Ukrainian Interpreters and Translators Association. The UATI Support Fund is administered by UATI Board President Natalia Pavliuk. It is helping assist Ukrainian translators and interpreters with costs such as:

– evacuation (transportation and accommodation)

– medication and medical care

– food and clothes

– supplementing basic income for members whose income has dropped because they are focusing on emergency pro bono translation and interpreting

Natalia is herself in the city of Kalush in the west of Ukraine. She reports: “so far the fund has helped evacuate two people from Kharkiv and has helped cover the cost of special footwear and a safety vest for one of our colleagues who is now in the territorial defense; and provided funds to a single…

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Ukrainian Refugee Writers Support, List of Resources

Punctured Lines

As Russian troops are continuing to wage war in Ukraine, a group of writers (not affiliated with Punctured Lines) has put together a list of resources to help Ukrainian writers escape the zone of conflict.

Most of these opportunities are currently provided by European institutions, and we urge our friends with any influence at North American institutions and those around the world to consider expanding existing opportunities and to establish new positions for writers fleeing the war in Ukraine, as well as for writers speaking out against their regimes in Belarus and Russia.

Please share widely the link to Ukrainian Refugee Writers Support: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BDJAZC1lJSIkR7WS_XNAfF5s9nmQTbi1btlOYfJ6MRI/edit?usp=sharing

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Donate to Organizations Providing Support for Ukraine

Punctured Lines

For those watching in horror the atrocities committed by Russian troops in Ukraine and wondering what can be done from afar, here is a list of various types of organizations to support. Given the rapidly developing situation and the number of appeals from various channels, this list is by definition incomplete. If you know of other organizations please add them, and we will be updating, as well. We stand with the citizens of Ukraine, the Russian protesters, and members of the various diasporas who have family, friends, and ties in one or both places.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1CdrWLAkEaOMV7fBbIWzHsgHmFz8s1GM6e_7a57oc3ug/mobilebasic?fbclid=IwAR1T0p33oG_2AJBbZcTgg8mr4DCKNuyiJElUi7AN7lMyXmmfIxUpplGv1t0

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Voices for Ukraine: A Words Together Words Apart Reading

Punctured Lines

Many of us have been wondering how to help Ukrainians who are under a renewed attack from Russia. Poets Olga Livshin and Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach have put together a bilingual reading by poets and translators from Ukraine and the US. Read the event description below and register for the event happening March 1 at 12:30pm ET. This message includes links to organizations where you can make donations to support Ukraine in this time of war.

From Olga and Julia:

Amid the current catastrophe in Ukraine, a brutal invasion of a sovereign nation, it is more urgent than ever to listen to the voices of its people. While media provides overwhelming coverage, literature, poetry, and art are just as important for processing, coping, and surviving trauma.

Hosts Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach and Olga Livshin unite Ukrainian poets and their translators alongside US poet-allies in Voices for Ukraine–a transatlantic reading spanning from Kyiv…

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Support for Ukraine

Ian Ross Singleton (Инь и Ян)

Ukrainians have the right to *NOT* be invaded.

Ukraine is a unique, distinct culture, one not “created by the Soviets” as Putin says in his revisionist history.

Here are some ways of supporting Ukrainians during this time:

Razom (“together” in Ukrainian) coordinates delivery of medical supplies into Ukraine.

Ukraine Global Scholars is urging universities to support Ukrainian students.

I’ll update this list as I find more resources. Please feel free to reach out if you have any ideas.

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Olga Zilberbourg’s Year in Reading, 2021

Thanks to Dorian Stuber’s very bookish blog prompt, I got a chance to reflect on my reading in 2021. It proved to be very meaningful as I move forward. Thank you, Dorian!

Eiger, Mönch & Jungfrau

Today‘s reflection on a year in reading is by Olga Zilberbourg (@bowlga). The author of Like Water and Other Stories (WTAW Press) and four Russian-language books, Olga co-hosts the San Francisco Writers Workshop; and together with Yelena Furman runs Punctured Lines, a feminist blog about post-Soviet and diaspora literature.

Look for more reflections from a wonderful assortment of readers every day this week. Remember, you can always add your thoughts to the mix. Just let me know, either in the comments or on Twitter (@ds228).

El Anatsui, Fading Cloth, 2005

My reading life this past year was dominated by my role as a juror for the 2022 Neustadt International Literary Prize. The first task we were given was to nominate an author based on the quality of their writing. After considering (and rereading) authors from Yoko Tawada to Jenny Erpenbeck to Polina Barskova, I finally settled…

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Upcoming event with Kate Greene

Here’s something to look forward to in 2022: I get a chance to do an event with journalist and poet Kate Greene about her book ONCE UPON A TIME I LIVED ON MARS — a personal story of Kate’s participation in a NASA-sponsored Mars dome experiment that dives into the history and culture of spaceflight.

Some of Kate’s biggest questions in the book explore the kinds of bodies that get to participate in space flight, pointing to how our human biases and social structures limit our quest for knowledge.

It’s an exciting, wide-book, and I hope that thanks to ZOOM many of you will be able to tune into the conversation. Huge thanks to Richard May for organizing and Folio Books San Francisco for hosting. Buy our books from Folio and register for the event here!

Born in the USSR, Raised in California: Video Recording

The video from our recent event is here!

Punctured Lines

Thanks to everyone who could attend our event on Saturday, December 4th, and thank you all for your engagement and for your wonderful questions. For those of you who couldn’t make it, here’s the video recording from the event and links to our work.

Seven immigrant writers read their fiction and nonfiction related to immigration, identity, family history and the mother tongue(s). Let’s talk about buckwheat and pickled herring with beets. What do you do if your children refuse to eat traditional foods? Or when your dying grandmother forgets English and Russian and begins speaking to you in Yiddish? Does a Soviet-era secret still matter when the country no longer exists? We explore love, life, loss and the nuances of living with a hybrid identity.

Masha Rumer’s nonfiction book, Parenting with an Accent: How Immigrants Honor Their Heritage, Navigate Setbacks, and Chart New Paths for Their Children, is forthcoming…

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