Irina Ratushinskaya was arrested on 17 September 1982 and held in the KGB Prison in Kiev. At 28 she was sentenced to seven years' hard labour and five years' internal exile, accused of anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda. Her crime: writing poetry. This poem, translated by Richard McKane and Helen Szamuely is from Pencil Letter (Bloodaxe, 1988).
She will be reading from her collection Pencil Letter on Tuesday 10 May at Westminster Central Hall 8pm, where the London premiere of 'Mass in Time of Persecution' by Francis Grier will be performed. Box office: 0435 873382.Reuse content