Anna Akhmatova is one of Russia’s most revered poets. Her work often criticized Stalin’s Russia by lending a voice to victims of the regime. Like many of her friends and family in intellectual circles, she was considered a threat to the country. Fearing arrest, she and other poets started memorizing each other’s work so it could be spread orally, instead of keeping a written record. Her most well-known poem, “Requiem,” depicts the horrors and suffering that occurred under Stalin. She spent 20 years of her life on “Poem Without a Hero,” which she dedicated to the memory of those lost during the siege on Leningrad from 1941 to 1944.
Hokyoung Kim is an illustrator from South Korea living in New York. hokyoungkim.com