"McKane’s Akhmatova versions are unparalleled, and a great advance on his admittedly brilliant early work on that wonderful poet. They have a restrained brilliance and an extraordinary personal power"
– Peter Levi
'Akhmatova, along with Pasternak, Mandelstam and Tsvetaveva, is one of the absolutely indispensable poets of the century. We should be grateful to Richard McKane that such a generous, committed and well-presented selection of her work is now available in English'- Duncan Tweedale, The Green Book
'Richard McKane's long and arduous labour of love means that now these extraordinary poems are passed on to us in an English fresh and modern enough to make them sound as though written yesterday . . . This is indispensable reading' - Michèle Roberts, City Limits
'This book is outstanding value for money. Apart from 264 pages of poems, there are notes by both writer and translator, an informative introduction and lengthy excerpts from Akhmatova's autobiographical writings. And of course the stamp of greatness is all over it; nobody could mistake the sound of someone creating on a different level. Reading these poems is like being higher up a mountain than people are meant to go; you can only take it for so long' - Sheenagh Pugh, Poetry Review
'Whether epic or epigrammatic (and this new Selected Poems confirms how powerful she can be in either mood), she often expresses her sense of history by personifying it in one of the more statuesque and archetypal female modes of being: mourning, enduring, witnessing. In order to bear witness, she had to stay put, honing her gift to a tensile strength equal to any horror that war, famine or Stalin could devise . . . With so many of the later poems now in this one collection it is possible to trace the sweep of her development, and feel how the lovely early lyrics are balanced by the more tough and declarative pieces she wrote in her early seventies'- Carol Rumens, Sunday Times
'I read this book with increasing admiration . . . Last year was the centenary of Akhmatova's birth and this translation by Richard McKane, which is something more than a translation, is worthy of the event' - Sir John Lawrence, The Tablet
'This taut, magnificent collection of her poems' - Edna O'Brien, The Observer (Books of the Year)