Ainsley E. Morse

|Associate Professor
Academic Appointments
  • Associate Professor of East European, Eurasian and Russian Studies

  • Associated Professor of Comparative Literature

I am a scholar of twentieth- and twenty-first century literature from the former USSR and its many republics, including Russia and Ukraine, as well as the former Yugoslavia and present day Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro. My primary interests lie in experimental literary forms, from early 20th-century avant-gardes to innovative work produced despite state-led repressions and limitations. My first book, Word Play: Experimental Poetry and Soviet Children's Literature (2021), traces the history of a "childlike aesthetic" from early modernist experimentation through Soviet utopian visions and censorship, and into the strange partnership of children's and underground literature.      I am also a literary translator, working from Russian, B/C/S and Ukrainian, and specializing in poetry translation. The co-translated volume Permanent Evolution: Selected Essays on Literature, Theory and Film (by Yuri Tynianov) won the 2021 AATSEEL Best Scholarly Translation award. Recent and forthcoming books include F-Letter: New Russian Feminist Poetry and a volume on Ukrainian modernist theory & poetry. With Anastasia Osipova, I co-edit Cicada Press, a small independent publisher of translated poetry.  


Reed, Room 212
HB 6086


  • B.A. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • M.A. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • Ph.D Harvard University

Selected Publications

  • Word Play: Experimental Poetry and Soviet Children's Literature (Northwestern UP, 2021)

    The Fine Feats of the Five Cockerels Gang: A Surrealist-Marxist Children's Epic by Aleksandar Vučo and Dušan Matić, ed. and trans. AM and Aleksandar Bošković (Brill Avant-garde Critical Series, 2022)

    The Scar We Know: Poems by Lida Yusupova, ed. AM, multiple translators (Cicada Press, 2021)

    F-Letter: New Russian Feminist Poetry, ed. AM, Eugene Ostashevsky and Galina Rymbu (isolarii, 2020)

    Permanent Evolution: The Collected Theoretical Works of Yuri Tynianov(ed. and trans. AM, with Philip Redko) (Academic Studies Press, 2019)

    Andrey Egunov-Nikolev, Beyond Tula: A Soviet Pastoraltranslated AM (Academic Studies Press, 2019)

    Dmitri Prigov, Soviet Texts, translated by Simon Schuchat with AM (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2019)

    "The X-word: Translating Profanity in Contemporary Russian Poetry," Translation and Interpreting Studies (February 2022), 1-26

    "'The Dictionary as a Toy Collection': Interactions between the Childlike Avant-Garde Aesthetic and Soviet Children's Literature," in Olga Voronina, ed., The Brill Companion to Soviet Children's Literature and Film (Brill, 2019)

    "Balagan is Theater Too: Performance and Accessibility in Daniil Kharms and Vsevolod Nekrasov," Russian Review 78 (January 2019), 28-44

    "Between Summer and Winter: Late Soviet Children's Literature and Unofficial Poetry," in Russian Literature 96 (May-June 2018), 105-135

    "'For some reason I really want to go to Leningrad": The Petersburg Text in Vsevolod Nekrasov's 'Leningrad Poems'" (SEEJ 61.3, Fall 2017), 573-59

    Linor Goralik, FOUND LIFE: Poems, Stories, Comics, a Play, and an Interview (co-edited, with Maria Vassileva and Maya Vinokour) (Columbia University Press, 2017)

    Igor Kholin, Kholin 66: Diaries and Poems, translated with Bela Shayevich (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2017)