Not Akhmatova

Poems and Adaptations

by Noah Berlatsky


This item will be released on July 23, 2024.
Jewish Poetry Month sale! Save 25% when you buy 2 or more poetry titles.

About this book

Anna, the border washed your tongue from our tongue.

Anna, the border is a voice that said our name.


“Not Akhmatova” by Noah Berlatsky navigates the intricate dance between homage and reinvention, drawing inspiration from the works of Russian poet Anna Akhmatova. A book of quasi translations, appropriations, and alienations, it is also an authentic and unique examination of rootlessness and the need to belong. Berlatsky’s argumentative and proud poems explore his own relationship with Russia as well as the concept of Jewish diaspora identity.

About the Author

Noah Berlatsky is a freelance writer from Chicago. He has published poetry chapbooks from above/ground press, Origami Poetry Project, and LJMcD Communications. He is also the author of Wonder Woman: Bondage and Feminism in the Marston/Peter Comics, 1941-48 from Rutgers UP.

Advance Praise

“One of the gifts of the poet is how they are able to pack so much meaning into so few words. It’s no different with Noah Berlatsky. A conversation, a quarrel, a question, and a lament, over both time and distance, Not Akhmatova is an engaging, searching, thought-provoking collection. Each poem has its own unique and shattering examination of the human condition and human relations. So many sublime gut punches. So many mouthfuls of truth.”
Robert Jones, Jr., author of The New York Times bestselling novel, The Prophets, a National Book Award finalist.

A translation is an adaptation is a rewriting is an accusation is a quibble is a love letter. In these poems, Noah Berlatsky approaches the work of Anna Akhmatova—or scrambles off in another direction entirely. Writing under the sign of her name, with her but without trying to become her, Berlatsky gives us Anna in transcreation, in transelation.
— Sarah Dowling, author of Entering Sappho

“What makes us lean into the spaces of this intimate collection is its emotional accent, how it inflects and de-stresses the art of a legend into new and subtle shapes. Slant rhymes breeze through Berlatsky’s pages, shifting our sense of translation’s horizon while we trace the nuanced and re-nuanced contours of his poet-world.”
Colin Channer, author, Console