Kristin Palpini, "From Russia with love: Renowned poet brings her passion for literature to Hampshire College," Amherst Bulletin, 10 April:
Hampshire College professor Polina Barskova discovered poetry at age 8 while waiting for her mother in a grocery store parking lot in Russia's Leningrad.
The words poured from her - a poem about fairy tales that came to the child from the "magic voices of the night itself," Barskova recalls.
And the words kept coming.
At age 9, Barskova had a poem, "Young Children of Lenin," published in the Leningrad newspaper.
. . . .
Some called her a prodigy.
Standing in her office in Amherst one day last month, pulling off layers of winter outerwear, Barskova, now 33, reflected on that. "Prodigy is more of an ironic title, right? I began writing early, so some people thought I am some kind of circus freak,' like a talking seal," she said, "but it's still my craft and my vocation." (read the rest)