Poet Ilya Kaminsky was born in the former Soviet Union city of Odessa. He lost most of his hearing at the age of four after a doctor misdiagnosed mumps as a cold, and his family was granted political asylum by the United States in 1993, settling in Rochester, New York. After his father's death in 1994, Kaminsky began to write poems in English. He explained in an interview with the Adirondack Review, "I chose English because no one in my family or friends knew it-no one I spoke to could read what I wrote. I myself did not know the language. It was a parallel reality, an insanely beautiful freedom. It still is."
Kaminsky's honors include a Whiting Writers' Award, the Milton Center's Award for Excellence in Writing, the Florence Kahn Memorial Award, Poetry magazine's Levinson Prize as well as their Ruth Lilly Fellowship, Philips Exeter Academy's George Bennett Fellowship, and a Lannan Foundation fellowship. He is the author of Dancing in Odessa, which won several awards, including ForeWord Magazine's Best Poetry Book of the Year award in 2005, and Musica Humana. He is editor-in-chief of Poetry International, an annual poetry journal from San Diego State University, where he is on the creative writing graduate program faculty.
This noon-hour event is sponsored by the Homestead Review literary magazine and with a grant from the Monterey Peninsula Foundation Youth Fund. It is free and open to the public.
For more information, please contact English instructor Maria Garcia Teutsch at email@example.com.