Regina Derieva

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Alien Matter
Spuyten Duyvil



A photo of Regina Derieva in Beit Safafa, 1994

About Regina Derieva
Regina Derieva was an Odessa-born Russian poet and writer who published
around thirty books of poetry, essays, and prose.

Obituary in The Guardian

"Rediscovering Regina Derieva" 
by Cynthia L. Haven,  TLS, Oct. 8, 2014

Cynthia Haven's Posts Tagged ‘Regina Derieva’

Regina Derieva: A Short Biography

   Regina Derieva was born in the former USSR (Odessa, Ukraine), in 1949.
From 1960 until 1991 she lived and worked in Akmolinsk (Tselinograd / 
Akmola) and Karaganda, Kazakhstan.

She graduated from university with majors in music and Russian philology
and literature. A poet since the age of 15, she published several books
which were heavily censured by the then Soviet authorities, but nonetheless
(at the request of other writers)  became a member of the Union of Soviet

   In 1990 Regina and her family converted to Catholicism and soon moved
to the Holy Land. The State of Israel, however, deprived the whole family of
Israeli citizenship only because they had declared themselves Catholic. 
What is even worse, the government of Israel refused to let the family out
of the country.  Nevertheless, living in East Jerusalem, Regina Derieva
published a number of books. 

   In 1996 Fr. Armando Pierucci, a significant Italian  composer and
organist, composed a cantata for the series of Regina Derieva's poems
Via Crucis. That same year, she lost the appeal for Israeli citizenship
at the High Court of Justice in Jerusalem.

   In 1999, after a request of Church officials as well as some articles
published in international press, the State of Israel  let the Derievs leave
for Sweden and the USA. Having received an invitation from the Catholic
and Lutheran  bishops of Sweden, Regina and her husband,  who is a 
well-known icon painter and expert in liturgical music, went to Sweden
to participate in an ecumenical  conference. After the conference, their
were granted asylum. At the same time, their son Denis went to the USA
to study at Assumption College in  Worcester, MA. 

   From July 1999 until her death on December 11, 2013, Derieva lived
in Sweden.

  Derieva's work has been translated into several languages, including 
English, French, Swedish, Arabic, Italian, Chinese, Thai, Greek, and other
languages. A compact disc with her readings in Russian of selected poems
was issued in 1999. Derieva's work has appeared in the Poetry magazine,
Evergreen Review, Modern Poetry in Translation, Cross Currents,
Poetry East, The Liberal, Ars Interpres, Salt Magazine, Cyphers,
Holy Land Magazine, La Terra Santa, Siaures Atenai, Quadrant, 
Notre Dame Review, St. Petersburg Review, Artful Dodge, mid)rib, 
The Dirty Goat, Quarterly Literary Review Singapore,  POEM magazine,
Aorta, Poetry International, The New Criterion, Dublin Poetry Review, 
Artes, The American Poetry Review as well as in many Russian magazines.

  She translated poetry by Thomas Merton and contemporary American, 
Australian, British, Polish, and Swedish poets. Regina Derieva participated
in a number of Swedish and international poetry festivals, including
the International Poetry Day in Nicosia, Cyprus, Poesidagarna i Malmö,
and Singapore Writers Festival.

  Derieva's poetry is strongly affected by her Catholic faith. In 1999, 
Fra Armando Pierucci composed another cantata for the series of Regina Derieva's poems. This cantata is titled De Profundis.

   In 2003, she received the Shannon Fellowship of the International Thomas
Merton Society. In 2009, the Catholic Church of Sweden awarded her the 
ORA ET LABORA medal for her literary work to benefit the Church.

  Regina Derieva's funeral took place on December 23, 2013, and she is 
buried at the Norra Begravningsplatsen (Katolska Kyrkogården) in 

  The volume of poetry, memoirs, essays, fiction, and photographs in honor of 
Regina Derieva, Curator Aquarum, was published in 2015.

  Her papers are at Stanford University.

Regina during an event at the Poesidagarna in Malmö. 2005

Derieva's Published Works include:

__________   Poetry

Handwriting (In Russian), Alma-Ata, Zhazuchy.1978
Life Junction (In Russian), Alma-Ata, Zhazuchy.1980
The First Sledge Road of Winter (In Russian), 
Alma-Ata, Zhazuchy.1985
Two Skies (In Russian),, Alma-Ata, Zhazuchy. 1990
Absence (In Russian), Tenafly, New York, Hermitage.1993
Prayer of the Day (In Russian), 
Jerusalem, Radost' Voskresenia Publishers.1994
The Last War (Sound book: CD), 
Israel, Holy Land Records Ltd. Company.1998
De Profundis (In Russian), Jerusalem, Magnificat Institute. 1998
Via Crucis (In English, Italian, and Russian), 
Jerusalem, Magnificat Institute.1998
Inland Sea and Other Poems (In English), 
South Shields, The Divine Art. 1998
The New Little Flowers of St. Francis (In Italian and Arabic), 
East Jerusalem, Artistic Press.1998
The Pilgrim's Star (In English), South Shields, The Divine Art.1999
L'Etoile du Pelerin (In French), South Shields, The Divine Art. 1999
Instructions for Silence (In French, English, and Russian), 
Latroun Abbey.1999
In Commemoration of Monuments (In English and Russian), 
East Jerusalem, Art Printing Press. 1999
Fugitive Space (In Russian), Stockholm, Hylaea. 2001,
The Last Island (In English and Russian), Stockholm, Hylaea. 2002
Himmelens Geometri  (In Swedish), Skelleftea, Norma-Artos. 2003
Sobranie Dorog: Selected poems (In Russian), 
St. Petersburg, Aletheia. 2005
Alien Matter (in English), New York, Spuyten Duyvil. 2005
Oavbrutet svarta bilder (In Swedish), 
Göteborg, Carl Forsbergs bokförlag. 2007
Allt som tolv kejsare inte hunnit säga (In Swedish)
Ars Interpres Publications, Stockholm, 2006
Oavbrutet svarta bilder (In Swedish). 
Göteborg: Carl Forsbergs bokförlag, 2007.
The sum total of violations (in English), Translated by Daniel Weissbort.
UK: Arc Publications, 2009.
Corinthian Copper (in English), Translated by J. Kates
Grosse Pointe Farms, MI: Marick Press, 2010.
Chleb i Sól (In Polish). Poznan: Flos Carmeli, 2015.
Selected poetry & prose in 2 volumes (in Russian). 
St. Petersburg: Zhurnal "Zvezda", 2015.
Den tatuerade Mnemosyne (In Swedish). Stockholm: AIP, 2016.
Speglingar (In Swedish). Bonn: Pamphilus Press, 2020.
Earthly Lexicon (in English), Washington: Marick Press, 2019/2020.
Images in Black, Continuous (in English), Translated by Frederick Smock. 
Boston: M-Graphics Publishing, 2021.
Efter Pictor (In Swedish). Bonn: Pamphilus Press, 2021.

 __________  Essays

Three Possibilities to See the Kingdom of God (In English), 
Jerusalem, Alphabet Publishers.1994
The Meaning of Mystery (In English), 
Jerusalem, Proche-Orient Chretien - Modex.1998

 __________  Prose

In the World of Awful Thoughts
(In Russian), East Jerusalem, Art
Printing Press. 1998
The World is Full of Fools (in Russian),
Moscow, Text. 2002
De yttre tingens ordning. Sentenser, sarkasmer, paradoxer. 
Stockholm: Bokförlaget Faethon, 2020.

___________Translation into Russian

Frederick Smock, Poems
Ars-Interpres, New York, 2002
Les Murray, The End of Symbol
Ars-Interpres, New York - Stockholm, 2004
John Kinsella, The Sky's Imperative
Ars-Interpres, New York - Stockholm, 2004 .
Daniel Weissbort, The Name's Progress
Ars Interpres Publications, Stockholm, 2006

___________Poems and Prose Published in Anthologies

An Hour of Poetry (Russian). Moscow: Molodaya Gvardiya, 1965.
Joking Aside! (Russian). Alma-Ata: Zhazuchy, 1989.
An Anthology of Russian Free Verses (Russian). Moscow: Prometei, 1991.
Strophes of the Century: An Anthology of Russian Poetry (Russian). 
  Moscow and Minsk: Polyfact, 1995.
Christus in der russischen Literatur. 
  München: Verlag Otto Sagner in Kommission, 1999.
An Anthology of Contemporary Russian Women Poets
  Manchester: Carcanet Press, 2005.
New European Poets. Minneapolis: Graywolf Press, 2008.
The Poet and His World. Nicosia: En Tipis Publications, 2010.
IOU: New Writing on Money. Concord, MA: Concord Free Press, 2010.
Hamlet. Variations. Through the Pages of Russian Poetry (Russian). 
  Moscow: Tsentr Knigi Rudomino, 2012.
“From Those Who Remember Me”. Tomsk: 2015.
“'In Holy Week”. Moscow: Art-Vision, 2021.

You can learn about amazing  vicissitudes of the poet Regina Derieva
from the following sources:

New York  Times, November 25, 1996 
(article by Serge Schmemann) click here
L'Osservatore Romano, February  27,1999 
(article by Graziano Motta) click here
The Guardian, May  15, 1999 
(article by David Sharrock)
The Tablet, July 17, 1999 
(article by Joshua  Brown)
Svenska Dagbladet, November 11, 1999 
(interview with R. Derieva by Nina  Solomin 
and Bengt Jangfeldt)
Svenska Dagbladet, July 4, 2003
(interview with R. Derieva by Ricki Neuman)
click here

Other biographies of Regina  Derieva also can be found in:

• Wolfgang Kasack, “Regina Derieva,” in Kindlers Neues Literatur
Lexikon, ed. Rudolf Radler, Band 21 (München:  Kindler, 1998). 
• Who is Who in the Churches of Jerusalem, 2nd ed., s. v. “Regina Derieva” (Moscow-Jerusalem:  Bridges of Culture, 1999).

"My Face Toward the Impossible: Regina Derieva, 1949-2013
by David Deavel.
Gilbert Magazine Vol. 21 # 3, 2018


Regina Derieva's Life Travels

Reviews of books by Regina Derieva

Reviews of books by Regina Derieva

Reviews of books by Regina Derieva

Recent Books

Images in Black
M-Graphics Publishing
Order Images in Black, Continuous

Marick Press
It can also be ordered here

Marick Press
from Marick Press

Arc Publications


The American 
                 Poetry Review
Poetry International
Words Without Borders
The Hopkins Review
The Baffler
Artful Dodge
Notre Dame Review
Atlanta Review
Evergreen Review
Dublin Poetry Review



New European Poets
IOU:  New Writing
                     on Money

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                             Regina Derieva
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