Sofija Podvisocka – Frances Mason Harris '26 Prize, 2021

In this powerful revisioning of motifs from Russian folklore, Baba Yaga gets fresh life breathed into her old, old bones as deep past collides with near past and intricately textured present.  Blending prose poems, recipes for cooking mushrooms, and a fresh presentation of the classic “Death of Koschei the Deathless.” “Matryoshka” is a work of great verve, real elegance and, quite often, considerable tenderness. Ludmilla Petrushevskaya, Angela Carter, Anne Carson and, curiously, provocatively, Kathy Acker are all writers that may come to mind as this rewarding landscape of text and image unfurls itself.