Leo Yankevich

(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 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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PoemHunter.com Updates

The Last Silesian

Above us: cawing rooks and grey clouds.
Around us: leafless trees and falling snow.
It’s late in January, 60 years
since Gleiwitz-Petersdorf was “liberated.”

Anne, a frail and tiny woman of eighty,
and the last Silesian on our street,
points her left hand toward the frozen ground
and rests her right upon a walking stick.

[Hata Bildir]