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(October 30,1961 / Farrell, Pennsylvani)

Biography of Leo Yankevich

Leo Yankevich poet

an American poet and the editor of The New Formalist.

Born into a Roman Catholic family of Irish-Polish descent, he grew up and attended high school in Farrell, Pennsylvania, a small steel town in western Pennsylvania. He then studied History and Polish Studies at Alliance College, Cambridge Springs, Pennsylvania, receiving a BA in 1984. Later that year he travelled to Poland on a fellowship from the Kosciuszko Foundation to attend Kraków's Jagiellonian University. After the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989, he decided to settle permanently in Poland. Since that time he has lived in Gliwice, an industrial city in Upper Silesia.

Yankevich writes poems in both traditional metre and in syllabics, and only occasionally in free verse. He is a prolific translator, having rendered into English poems by Mikhail Lermontov, Georg Trakl, Rainer Maria Rilke, Stanisław Grochowiak, Czesław Miłosz, Alexander Blok, Leopold Staff, Nikolay Gumilev, Boleslaw Lesmian, and many others. He has a large Internet presence with work published in scores of online publications, ranging from The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette to Poets Against War.

Leo Yankevich's Works:

The Language of Birds; Pygmy Forest Press,1994
Grief's Herbs (translations after the Polish of Stanislaw Grochowiak) : The Mandrake Press,1995
The Gnosis of Gnomes; The Mandrake Press,1995
Epistle from The Dark; The Mandrake Press,1996
The Golem of Gleiwitz; The Mandrake Press,1998
The Unfinished Crusade; The Mandrake Press,2000
The Last Silesan; The Mandrake Press,2005

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Promised Land

Rousseau’s brave savages
had circled her covered wagon,
leaving vestiges
of life that could have been:

dreams of a promised land,
a son and rag-doll daughter,
a scalped Scottish husband,
and not a drop of water.

[Hata Bildir]