Ilya Kaminsky

Ilya Kaminsky was born in Odessa, Ukraine, and came to the USA in 1993. He is the author of Dancing in Odessa (Tupelo Press) and Deaf Republic (Graywolf Press and Faber). His writing has been honoured with the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Metcalf Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He has been shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize and the Forward Prize in the UK and a National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award in the USA.

Ilya Kaminsky


Poetry Centre Stage »

Reading: Ilya Kaminsky, Inua Ellams


Sat 13 March | 19:30 - 20:30 | FREE | StAnza Online


We Lived Happily During the War

And when they bombed other people’s houses, we

but not enough, we opposed them but not

enough. I was
in my bed, around my bed America
was falling: invisible house by invisible house by invisible house.

I took a chair outside and watched the sun.

                              In the sixth month
of a disastrous reign in the house of money

in the street of money in the city of money in the country of money,
our great country of money, we (forgive us)

lived happily during the war.

Ilya Kaminsky

From Deaf Republic (Faber and Graywolf, 2019)