Biography of Leo Yankevich
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 in Poland. Since 2013 he has lived in Pittsburgh, PA.
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, Stanislaw Grochowiak, Czeslaw Milosz, 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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- A Warning to Dissidents
- At a Suicide’s Grave(1869-1897)
- Apollo’s Archaic Torso
- A December Wish
- A Tiny Glow
- After 20 Years of Marriage
- Break of Dawn
- An Autumn Evening
- After the Old Masters
- A Hater Learns About Love
- After the Expulsions
A Warning to Dissidents
Yes, pretty soon now they’ll be at your door.
They’ve orders and a warrant after all.
It doesn’t matter. You’ll be on the floor,
your wife and children having watched you fall.
Just then you’ll notice fallen scraps and crumbs,
the beauty of your startled wife’s pale feet,
the Celtic Crosses on your daughter’s thumbs,
the food above that you will never eat.