Larissa's Blog

Russian Launch Party for Larissa Shmailo’s Patient Women (press release)

For immediate releasePress contacts:Larissa Shmailo212-712-9865Larissa@larissashmailo.comRegina
Russian Launch Party for Larissa Shmailo’s Patient Women Uncle Vanya’s315 West 54th Street New York, NY 212-757-0168Tuesday, September 8, 20157:00 to 10 pmFREE; open to the publicNew York City. A real Russian launch party will celebrate the publication of poet Larissa Shmailo’s debut novel, Patient Women, on September 8. Sponsored by the Russian American Culture Center, the event features the talents of a glittering host of prominent Eastern European and New York City literary figures, including Alex Cigale, Steve Dalachinsky, Bonny Finberg, Andrey Gritsman, Patricia Spears Jones, Ron Kolm, Irina Mashinski, Yuko Otomo, Audrey Roth, and Thad Rutkowski.About Patient Women Patient Women has been called “a brutally honest wrestling match of truth-telling and sex”and “the best book . . . about this period of life in NYC since Patti Smith's Just Kids.” Thaddeus Rutkowski, author of Haywire, writes: Larissa Shmailo’s Patient Women tells the story of Nora, a gifted young woman who comes of age in New York against heavy odds. Her Russian mother is demanding; the young men around her are uncaring; and her dependence on drink and sex leads her to a shadowy life filled with self-made demons. Yet Nora’s intelligence pulls her through the difficult times—there are even moments of (very) dark humor here. Anne Elliott, author of The Beginning of the End of the Beginning, adds:Christ-figures are likely to be cross-dressers in this engaging bildungsroman, which takes us on a wild ride through NYC nightclubs of the 1970's, rock-bottom blackouts, a whorehouse, and the slogan-filled rooms of recovery. Surreal and lyrical, then bawdy and riotous, then plainspoken and tragic, Patient Women had me rooting hard for its lovable, drowning heroine to keep her head above water and let in grace.The Russian American Cultural CenterThe Russian American Cultural Center (RACC) sponsors readings, art exhibitions, film screenings, and other events of interest throughout New York; for more information about RACC, see their website at The launch party for Patient Women is free and open to the public. Books will be available for purchase and signing by the author at the event. Patient Women is also available on Amazon at

Save the date! The NYC Patient Women launch party 9/8

Friends, save the date! The NYC launch party will happen Tuesday, Sept. 8 at 7:00 pm at Uncle Vanya's, 315 W 54. Readings by Alexander Cigale, Steve Dalachinsky, Bonny Finberg, Patricia Spears Jones, Ron Kolm, Irina Mashinski, Yuko Otomo, Audrey Roth, Thaddeus Rutkowski, yours truly, and other special guests. More details as I get them.This event is sponsored by the Russian American Cultural Center, so it will be a blast. I absolutely hope to see every single one of you there!
Patient Women

Moderating a Panel on "Metrical Illiteracy" at AWP16 in LA

I was delighted to learn that my proposal, "Endangered Music: Formal Poetry in the 21st Century," has been accepted to AWP 16's program in LA.  The all-star panel includes Annie Finch, Timothy Steele, Amanda Johnston, and Dean Kostos.  Our topic follows.

What are the consequences of what Brad Leithauser has termed the "metrical illiteracy" of contemporary poetry in the U.S.? Poetry readership here has diminished, in contrast to the vitality of poetry in countries where formal poetry is strong. Offering controversial views from a now minority aesthetic, panelists will discuss why basic knowledge of metrical analysis and prosody has waned and why accentual forms such as spoken word are popular.  We will demonstrate the essential role of music in poetry today and as a tool vital to understanding poetry of the past.

If you are in LA next AWP, I invite you to join us.