Veronika Bowker was born in Moscow and studied English and American literature at Moscow University. She taught Russian language courses in UEA for more than twenty years, she also taught on MA translation programmes at UEA and at London City University.
In her MPhil thesis entitled ‘Russian Poetry in English: the Problem of Un/Translatability’ she explored the history of translations of Russian poetry in Britain from the middle of the nineteenth century to the 1990s, its reception and the origins of the myth of its untranslatability.
She has translated Russian poetry in collaboration with several English poets, usually using her Russian surname Krasnova.
Her main research interests are in the theory and practice of literary translation, the nature of poetic language and how it communicates its meaning, and the wider issues of Russian culture and politics.
Recently she started working on a short biography of Vladimir Mayakovsky whose reputation in this country – either as a modernist genius whose poetry is untranslatable or a talentless writer of agitprop serving totalitarian regime – owes a great deal to the difficulties in translation of his лесенка but also to the attitudes to the politics of Russian revolution and literary modernism in general.