Ilya Kaminsky

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Ilya Kaminsky (born April 18, 1977) is a Russian-American poet.


Ilya Kaminsky was born in Odessa, former Soviet Union (now Ukraine), on April 18, 1977. He immigrated to the United States in 1993 after the US government granted his family asylum. Kaminsky earned his B.A. at Georgetown University before going on to receive his law degree from Hastings College in San Francisco, CA. He attended the Bucknell Seminar for Younger Poets. He lives in Berkeley, CA, and will begin teaching at San Diego State University in August, 2006.


Kaminsky's first book, Dancing in Odessa (ISBN 1932195122) won the Whiting Writers' Award in 2005, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Metcalf Award, the Ruth Lilly Fellowship from Poetry Magazine, and the Dorset Prize, as well as being chosen "the best poetry book of the year 2005" by ForeWord Magazine.

Kaminsky is particularly well known for his impassioned, almost ecstatic reading style.

  • Several live audio links from The Fishouse
  • A Toast A poem by Ilya Kaminsky
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