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Even in a casual conversation the thoughts of Polina Barskova - who is widely recognized as one of the best Russian poets under the age of 40 - flow forth in image and metaphor.
As a child she was recognized as a prodigy. She began publishing poems in journals at age nine and, sought out by a publishing house, released the first of her six books at the ripe old age of 15.
She came to the United States at 20, in order to pursue graduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley, after having already completed a degree in classical literature at St. Petersburg State University.
Three years ago Dr. Barskova joined the faculty of Hampshire College as assistant professor of Russian literature. Her classes are packed and teaching reviews by students achieve similar soaring acclaim as critics' reviews of her writing. Under her influence students have formed the Hampshire Poetry Group, meeting monthly to read to each other.