Lecture: Lev Loseff: Poet, Son and Exile


Location: Location: Special Collections Department, 102 Hesburgh Library

Guest Speaker: Barry Scherr, Professor of Russian, Dartmouth College


Relatively few children have followed a parent into a career as poet, but Lev Loseff, who began to write poetry seriously only after his emigration to the United States, was the son of Vladimir Lifshits, who had been a well-known poet in the Soviet Union.  The Special Collections of the Hesburgh Libraries at Notre Dame hold an extensive collection of their papers, which shed light on the lives of both and especially on the influences that shaped Lev Loseff.  After discussing how the son’s sensitivity to language may have been inspired by the father’s children’s poetry and satirical verse, I will then look at how that sensitivity was sharpened by his position as an émigré, writing poetry in Russian while living and working in an English-language environment.