Ilya Kaminsky, who graduated from
Georgetown's English Department in 2001, before going on
to receive his law degree from Hastings College in San Francisco. He
began teaching in the MFA program at San Diego State University
in the fall of 2006 as an Assistant Prof. of English.
in Odessa, former Soviet Union in 1977, Ilya arrived in the United
States in 1993, where his family was granted asylum by the American
government. He is the author of Dancing In Odessa (Tupelo Press,
2004) which won the Whiting Writer's Award, the American Academy of Arts
and Letters' Metcalf Award, the Dorset Prize, the Ruth Lilly Fellowship
given annually by Poetry magazine. Dancing In Odessa was
also named Best Poetry Book of the Year 2004 by ForeWord Magazine.
In addition to his English language poems, Ilya writes
poetry in Russian. His work in that language was chosen for "Bunker
Poetico" at Venice Bienial Festival in Italy. In late 1990s, he
co-founded Poets For Peace, an organization which sponsors poetry
readings in the United States and abroad with a goal of supporting such
relief organizations as Doctors Without Borders and Survivors
Ilya has served as a Writer In Residence at Phillips Exeter
Academy and has taught poetry at numerous literary centers. He has also
worked as a Law Clerk at the National Immigration Law Center, and more
recently at Bay Area Legal Aid, helping impoverished and homeless in
solving their legal difficulties. He currently lives in Berkeley,
California with his wife, Katie Farris.ris.