Translation by Jedediah Smith: How To Make Verse by Vladimir Mayakovsky

My first book-length translation is now available: How To Make Verse by Vladimir Mayakovsky, available as a paperback from Amazon (kindle version coming soon). From the book’s description: Vladimir Mayakovsky remains one of the most powerful voices in Russian literature and twentieth century poetry. Written in 1926, How To Make Verse stands as his major statement of aesthetics. In it, he synthesizes his views on individual artistic integrity with the demands of committed Marxist populism while also giving insight into the details of his personal creative process. In addition to issues of language and prosody, Mayakovsky explores the artist’s tangled relation to the avant-garde, Romanticism, history, revolution, and suicide. His language, always accessible and frank, eschews both ideological and academic jargon. Thus the writing remains fresh and compelling, making this work vital reading for students and writers of contemporary poetry.

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