Elaine Feinstein was born in Liverpool, brought up in Leicester, and educated at Newnham College, Cambridge. Since 1980 she has lived as a full-time writer. In the same year, she was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
She has written for The Times, The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Sunday Times, the New York Review of Books and other papers. Her versions of the great Russian poet Marina Tsvetaeva---for which she received three translation awards from the Arts Council--- were first published in 1971, and remain in print from OUP/Carcanet in the UK and Penguin in USA, and were a New York Times Book of the Year. In 1990, she received a Cholmondeley Award for Poetry, and was given an Honorary D.Litt from the University of Leicester.
She has written fourteen novels; radio plays; television dramas, and five biographies; TED HUGHES: THE LIFE OF A POET (2001) was short listed for the biennial Marsh Biography Prize; her most recent biography 'ANNA OF ALL THE RUSSIAS: The Life of Anna Akhmatova came out from Weidenfeld in 2005.
She has traveled extensively; in Russia for GB/USSR in 1978; and for the British Council in France, Spain, Italy, Rumania, India, and South East Asia. In 1993 she was Writer in Residence for the British Council in Singapore, and in 1995 in Tromso on the Arctic Circle. She was a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow at Bellagio in 1998. Her novels and biographies have been translated into French, Spanish, German, Italian, Danish, Hungarian, Czech, Hebrew, Russian and Chinese; and her poetry into French, Russian, Portuguese, Spanish and Italian. Her poems have been widely anthologised, and two were included in Christopher Ricks OXFORD BOOK OF ENGLISH VERSE. Her most recent books of poems are Daylight (Carcanet 1997), a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, Gold (Carcanet 2000), and her poems written after the death of her husband, Arnold, TALKING TO THE DEAD (Carcanet 2007). Her COLLECTED POEMS AND TRANSLATIONS (2002) was a Poetry Book Society Special Commendation.Elaine Feinstein's novel THE RUSSIAN JERUSALEM , for which she received a major Arts Council Award, was published by Carcanet in 2008.
The poems "Tbilisi" and "St. Petersburg" are from Elaine Feinstein's forthcoming collection Cities which will appear from Carcanet, Manchester in June 2010.
The poem "Siver" and the memoir "The End of the Era. With Poets, Of Poets: Aliger, Antokolsky, Moritz" is from The Russian Jerusalem, Carcanet, 2008.
The Biographical essay on Marina Tsvetaeva and "Translating Tsvetaeva" are from Marina Tsvetaeva. Bride Of Ice: New Selected poems.