Ugly Duckling Presse

The Song of Igor's Campaign
The Song of Igor's Campaign


translated by Bill Johnston

Poetry | $8 $6
Out of Print

The Song of Igor’s Campaign is one of the foundational works of Russian literature. In muscular, expressive language it describes the disastrous campaign of 1185 waged by Prince Igor of Chernigov against the pagan Polovtsians. Part martial epic, part lament, and part political diatribe, the Song is a unique and gripping poem. The controversy surrounding the authenticity of the text—is it an original 12th-century oral epic or a brilliant 18th-century fabrication?—only add to the fascination. This new translation by Bill Johnston captures the poetry and energy of the original.

The artist Yulya Deych of Olympia, Washington, created a series of three distinct cover designs for this chapbook and printed each in a limited edition of 115 using photolithographic plates and hand-set type on Rives Heavyweight paper. Each cover was hand-torn and initialed by the artist

Eastern European Poets Series #11.

About the Author

About the Translator

Bill Johnston teaches Comparative Literature at Indiana University, where he directs the Polish Studies Center. He has held translation fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and has translated numerous works of poetry and prose from the Polish, including books by Witold Gombrowicz, Krzystof Kamil Baczynski, and Juliusz Slowacki. His translation of Magdalena Tulli’s Dreams and Stones (Archipelago Books, 2004) won the 2005 Translation Prize of AATSEEL (the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages).