Tania Skarynkina

© Julia Cimafiejeva

Tania Skarynkina (in Belarusian Таня Скарынкіна) was born in Smarhon, Belarus in 1969. In seismographical manner she writes down the vibrations and quakes of everyday life and creates a poetic cosmos full of unsentimeental tenderness, melancholy and irony. Her poetry, written in Russian, is characterised by finesse and light-footedness. In her essays the first-person narrator, mostly articulated in Russian, here, too, confronts the polyphony of the direct speech of the aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, friends and neighbours. In this way Skarynkina registers and documents the everyday language of her environment, with sprinklings of Polish and Russian. This linguistic palimpsest draws attention to the turbulent history of the town of Smarhon, which has for thirty years now been in independent Belarus near the Lithuanian border. Where the material substance of the town is a testimony only to historical breaks and gaps in memory, continuity finds refuge in perfomative and linguistic everyday routines. To a certain extent these are a practical expression of Belarusian culture, as ever-present as it is ignored (on account of its profane and ephemeral character). With charming understatement Skarynkina gives everyday speech an audience, a form, a value and permanence.

Skarynkina’s poetry has been translated into English, Georgian, Hebrew, Italian, Polish and Czech. She is a member of the Belarusian PEN and writers’ association.

Rajcentr (County Town Paradise). Pfliaŭmbaŭm, 2021.
I vsepobrosalinoži (And they all dropped knives). Argo-Risk etc., 2020.
Bol’šoj Česlav Miloš, malen’kij Ėlvis Presli. Planž, 2020.
A Large Czesław Miłosz With a Dash of Elvis Presley. Scotland Street Press, 2018.
Šmat Česlava Milaša, krychu Elvisa Presli (A Large Czesław Miłosz With a Dash of Elvis Presley). Lohvinaŭ, 2015.
Portugal’skietrëchstišija (Portuguses tercets). Ailuros Publishing, 2014.
Knigadljačtenijavnepomeščenij i v pomeščenijach (A Book for Reading Indoors and Out). Knihazbor, 2013.

2020: Andrei Bely Prize for Poetry

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