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Elaine Feinstein (born 24 October 1930, Bootle, Lancashire[1]) is a poet, novelist, short-story writer, playwright, biographer and translator.



Feinstein was educated at Newnham College, University of Cambridge. She has worked as a university lecturer, a subeditor, and a freelance journalist. Since 1980, when she was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, she has lived as a full-time writer. In 1990, she received a Cholmondeley Award for Poetry, and was given an Honorary D.Litt from the University of Leicester.[1] Her versions of the poems of Marina Tsvetaeva – for which she received three translation awards from the Arts Council – were first published in 1971. She has written fourteen novels, many radio plays, television dramas, and five biographies, including A Captive Lion: the Life of Marina Tsvetaeva (1987) and Pushkin (1998). Ted Hughes: The Life of a Poet (2001), was shortlisted for the biennial Marsh Biography Prize.[2]. Her biography of Anna Akhmatova, Anna of all the Russias was published in 2005. Elaine Feinstein has travelled extensively, not only to read her work at festivals across the world, but to be Writer in Residence for the British Council, first in Singapore, and then in Tromsø, Norway. She was a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow at Bellagio in 1998. Her poems have been widely anthologised. Her Collected Poems and Translations (2002) was a Poetry Book Society Special Commendation. She has served as a judge for the Gregory Awards, the Independent Foreign Fiction Award, the Costa Poetry Prize and the Rossica Award for Literature translated from Russian, and in 1995 was chairman of the judges for the T.S. Eliot Prize.[3].


  • Bessie Smith: Lives of Modern Women Series Penguin/Viking
  • 1987:A Captive Lion: The Life of Marina Tsvetayeva Hutchinson
  • 1993: Lawrence's Women HarperCollins, London, 1993;
    • as Lawrence and The Women, New York, 1993
  • 1998: Pushkin Weidenfeld & Nicholson; Ecco, U.S.
  • 2001: Ted Hughes - The Life of a Poet Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 2001
  • 2005: Anna of all the Russias: The Life of a Poet under Stalin: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2005; Knopf, 2006


  • 1966: In a Green Eye, London, Goliard Press
  • 1971: The Magic Apple Tree, London, Hutchinson
  • 1972: At the Edge, Sceptre Press
  • 1973: The Celebrants and Other Poems, Hutchinson
  • 1977: Some Unease and Angels, Hutchinson; reprinted, 1981
  • 1977: Selected Poems, University Center, Michigan, Green River Press
  • 1980: The Feast of Eurydice, Faber & Faber/ Next Editions
  • 1987: Badlands, Hutchinson
  • 1990: City Music, Hutchinson
  • 1994: Selected Poems, Carcanet Press
  • 1997: Daylight, Carcanet Press
  • 1999: After Pushkin, (edited by Elaine Feinstein) Folio Society & Carcanet Press
  • 2000: Gold Carcanet Press
  • 2002: Collected Poems and Translations, Carcanet Press
  • 2007: Talking to the Dead, Carcanet Press

Translated poetry

Listed by year first published (except for Marina Tsvetayeva volume)

2009, BRIDE OF ICE , New Selected Poems of Marina Tsvetaeva ( including ' On The Red Horse', 'Girlfriend' ( lyrics for Sofia Parnok), New Year's Greetings) and a new Introduction


Listed by year first published (years of later editions also noted):

  • 1970: The Circle London, Hutchinson (Penguin 1973)
  • 1972: The Amberstone Exit, London, Hutchinson, (Penguin 1974); translated into Hebrew (Keter 1984)
  • 1973: The Glass Alembic, as The Crystal Garden London, Hutchinson, (Penguin 1978); New York, Dutton, 1974
  • 1975: Children of the Rose, London, Hutchinson; (Penguin 1976); translated into Hebrew, 1987
  • 1976: The Ecstasy of Dr Miriam Garner, London, Hutchinson
  • 1978: The Shadow Master, London, Hutchinson, 1978; New York, Simon & Schuster, 1979
  • 1982: The Survivors, London, Hutchinson; New York, 1991
  • 1984: The Border, London, Hutchinson; New York, 1985
  • 1988: Mother's Girl, London, Hutchinson; shortlisted for 1990 Los Angeles Times Fiction Prize
  • 1989: All You Need, London, Hutchinson; New York, 1991
  • 1992: Loving Brecht, London, Hutchinson
  • 1994: Dreamers, London, Macmillan
  • 1996: Lady Chatterley's Confession, London, Macmillan
  • 2001: Dark Inheritance, London, Women's Press
  • 2008: The Russian Jerusalem, Manchester, Carcanet Press.

Radio plays

  • 1980: "Echoes"
  • 1981: "A Late Spring"
  • 1983: "A Day Off"
  • 1985: "Marina Tsvetayeva: A Life"
  • 1987: "If I Ever Get On My Feet Again"
  • 1990: "The Man in Her Life"
  • 1993: "Foreign Girls, a trilogy"
  • 1994: "A Winter Meeting"
  • "Lawrence's Women in Love" (four-part adaptation)
  • 1996: Adaptation of novel, Lady Chatterley's Confession Book at Bedtime

Short stories

  • 1972: Matters of Chance, London, Covent Garden Press
  • 1980: The Silent Areas, London, Hutchinson

Prizes and awards

  • 1970: Arts Council Grant/Award for Translation
  • 1971: Daisy Miller Prize
  • 1979: Arts Council Grant/Award for Translation
  • 1981: Arts Council Grant/Award for Translation
  • 1981: Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature
  • 1990: Cholmondeley Award
  • 1992: Society of Authors Travel Award
  • 2004: Arts Council Award to write THE RUSSIAN JERUSALEM (May 27, 2008)


  • Peter Lawson Anglo-Jewish poetry from Isaac Rosenberg to Elaine Feinstein, 2005, Vallentine Mitchell & Co ISBN 0-85303-617-9

External links


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