Regina Derieva is an acclaimed Russian poet and writer who have been described by The Guardian as a possible future Nobel Prize winner.
She was born in the former USSR (Odessa, Ukraine), in 1949. From 1965 until 1991 she lived and worked in Karaganda, Kazakhstan. She graduated from university with majors in music and Russian philology and literature. A poet since the age of 15, she published books which were heavily censured by the then Soviet authorities, but nonetheless (at the request of other writers) became a member of the Union of Soviet Writers.
In 1990, Regina and her family converted to Catholicism and soon moved to the Holy Land. The State of Israel, however, deprived the whole family of Israeli citizenship only because they had declared themselves Catholic. What is even worse, the government of Israel refused to let the family out of the country. Nevertheless, living in East Jerusalem, Regina Derieva has published a number of books.
In 1996, a significant Italian composer and organist, Fr. Armando Pierucci, composed a cantata for the series of Regina Derieva's poems Via Crucis. That same year, she lost the appeal for Israeli citizenship at the High Court of Justice in Jerusalem.
In 1999, after a request of Church officials as well as some articles published in international press, the State of Israel let the Derievs leave for Sweden and the US. Regina and her husband, who is a well-known icon painter and expert in liturgical music, went to Sweden. Their son Denis went to the USA to study at Assumption College in Worcester, MA. Having received an invitation from the Catholic and Lutheran bishops of Sweden, the Derievs left for Stockholm to participate in an ecumenical conference. There they were granted asylum.
Regina Derieva is the author of twenty books of poems, prose and essays. Her works has been translated into many languages, including English, French, Swedish, Chinese, and Arabic. Her books in English translation are Inland Sea and Other Poems (The Divine Art, South Shields 1998), In Commemoration of Monument (Art Printing Press, East Jerusalem 1999), Instructions for Silence (Latroun Abbey, Jerusalem 1999), The Last Island (Hylaea, Stockholm 2002), and Alien Matter (Spuyten Duyvil, New York 2005).
Her work has appeared in the Modern Poetry in Translation, Salt, Cross Currents, Poetry East, Ars Interpres, Notre Dame Review as well as in many Russian magazines.
She has translated poetry by contemporary American, Australian, British, Swedish, and Polish poets.
In 2003, Derieva has been awarded the Shannon Fellowship of the International Thomas Merton Society.
Biography from: derieva.com