Irina Ratushinskaya was an inspiration. I’ve mentioned her here before, having had a fluke encounter in a bookshop. She proved remarkably resilient in the most appalling circumstances, a Soviet labour camp.
Her crime? Poetry.
It’s terrifying that some today might be nostalgic for an ideology and a system that could imprison millions in the Gulag. But Ratushinskaya outlived both her imprisonment and the entire system.
- Irina Ratushinskaya on Wiki
- Her Obit in the Guardian, written by the Keston Institute’s Michael Bordeaux
- Her poems (all taken from Pencil Letter)
- So tomorrow, our little ship Small Zone (Small Zone, 18 Sep 1983)
- To my unknown friend (Small Zone, 26 Feb 1984)
- I will live and survive (Labour Camp hospital, 30 Nov 1983)
- If sleep doesn’t come (PKT, October 1984)
- Rooks (Potmin Transit Prison, 30 Oct 1984)
- Somewhere a pendulum moves (PKT, Sept 1985)
None of these appear to be online, but If I have a moment, I’ll type them up.