Acclaim for
Joseph Brodsky,
Leningrad: Fragments
Photographer Lemkhin serves the poet well by gathering images of Leningrad whose visual language encourages the same degrees of attention and communication Brodsky's poetry demands. Here and there, images of Brodsky appear, always, it seems, with cigarette in hand, smiling eyes, the eyes of a poet. And what are the eyes of a poet? What does a poet see? Lemkhin's beautiful book may not answer these questions, but it comes close. With short, valuable, and touching written contributions by Czeslaw Milosz and Susan Sontag, the book merits hours of just sitting and looking.
             Raul Nino, Booklist

The scenes seem to me to capture the essence of the Leningrad /.../. I don't know how this book could been better...
              Dr. Jane M. Rabb, art historian, Cambridge University

Enriched by Czeslaw Milosz's foreword and Susan Sontag's moving, elegiac afterword, Lemkhin has successfully - and beautifully - arranged the many shards of his book into that whole, single portrait to which he aspired.
             Robin Lippincott, The New York Times

I thought Fragments was smashing
              David Mamet, playwright, film director

This is a Brodsky seen from different points-of-view: by the indistinct gaze from an auditorium of the listener engrossed by the poet's recitation; by a psychologist, attentively noting the nuances of his moods; by an artist, attempting to uncover the mystery of talent. /ů/Lemkhin's book is lyrical and meditative; that is, it recreates through a different artistic medium the favorite genre of Brodsky - the elegy. The elegy is a nostalgic genre. One peers into the Lemkhin's mesmerizing photos of Leningrad, trying to 'recognize' Brodsky now amongst the crowd, now in the hazy figure across the street, or maybe in the schoolboy that ran out into the street in the middle of a recess.
              Lev Loseff, poet, professor at Dartmouth College

...A moving visual tribute, taken over a 25-year period, to the great poet Brodsky and the city he loved. Black and white images capture the feel of life behind what used to be called the Iron Curtain, and a heritage that goes beyond ideology.
              San Francisco Examiner Magazine

An excellent book!
              Mikhail Baryshnikov

...Aesthetic of Lemkhin as an artist is unusually analogous to Brodsky's restrained and resolute diction, at once ironical and tragic.
              Alexander Sumerkin, La Pensee Russe (Paris, France)

I estimate that to describe what is contained in a small photo by Lemkhin would take up at least one to two pages of legible-size print. That is, the density of these masterpieces of visual art is higher than that of a written text of the same area.
              Vladimir Uflyand, Zvezda Magazine (St. Petersburg, Russia)

The book is excellent. Its structure, its composition, organization of spreads - their compositions - are the work of genius. It is a tragic city and a tragic man. And the finale - last two spreads - just a real miracle.
              Nina Popova, director of Anna Akhmatova museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

Lemkhin's collection of photographs juxtaposes portraits of Brodsky with intimate and distant views of the city. /.../ His photos are `inexhaustible invitations` to a number of voyages, not just ~to deduction, speculation, and fantasy~ but to the sublime words of Brodsky and his predecessors.
              Jonathan Levi, Los Angeles Times

It is an intensely evocative portrait of what Brodsky saw, knew and responded to.
              Publishers Weekly

One, of course, may say that we are here presented with Brodsky's Leningrad: its themes, seagulls, its streets and its environs, its characters and faces. Lemkhin's book may be viewed/read from that angle. But I think that Fragments will gain yet another dimension if we discern the author's intonation: the voice of an author telling a story of his Leningrad, the almost mythical city whose many traits were personified in the poet that absorbed into himself all that epitomized Leningrad for us, his contemporaries. From a mosaic of recollections, the author composes a portrait of that man, a poet and a Leningradian that remained a Leningradian in New York as well as in Venice.
              Evgenii Vasilyev , Seven Days (Chicago, USA)

These 186 black-and-white images are fruition of Lemkhin's enduring attachment to his native city as well as the late Nobel laureate.
              John Krich, San Francisco Examiner

Mikhail Lemkhin presents a fascinating portrait of Nobel laureate poet Joseph Brodsky and his city, Leningrad.
              Photo Metro Magazine (San Francisco, USA)

The frames are montage together and produce an impression of a narration, where the author ponders and analyzes both the past of the country and the destiny of this unbearably beautiful city, and also tries to discover the mystery of genius. His intonation is not nostalgic, but dramatic and lyrical.
              The St. Petersburg Times (St.Petersburg, Russia)

Lemkhin's book is a visual poem in its own right; these pictures aren't organized chronologically or logically but are a pyre unrolling of association, a pure seeing. This 'seeing' is not so much an accounting, a biography, of a life's events, but a biography of memory - a biography of absence - of the great city of Leningrad in Brodsky's - and Lemkhin's - poetic and daily lives.
              Poetry Flash, (Berkeley, USA)

Mikhail Lemkhin's book is a book in the fullest sense: not an album of exquisite photo studies, but a composition which transcribes a train of thought.
The pages roll like clouds across the sky: Look, this is what we cherished in our lives, this is what happens to people, to stone, to memory, thanks to a little acid rain, that most noiseless rain, they call it - `time`. This is an experience of the `literature of silence`. Like a telepathic s╬ance. The Covetous Knight's soliloquy over a chest of devaluated bank notes. Poor Knight!
Over a hundred shots taken at the speed of 1/100 - in all, why that's just around a second! Someone else's story, made up mostly of the same things or signs as mine or yours, only linked in a different way to yield a personal fate.
In particular, or rather, most importantly, it included a City which inspired a dream about the meaning of existence, and a Contemporary who succeeded in rendering the tonality of that meaning.
But the second has passed, having absorbed almost all that could be held dear. The light wanes. The sound is off. And a question arises: Out of that which man has lost forever, is there anything that he possesses for eternity?
The gaze, seasoned with peppery essence of silver, shows irony, pain, and tenderness.

              Samuil Lurie, Neva Magazine (St. Petersburg, Russia)

Joseph Brodsky, Leningrad: Fragments

Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1998
ISBN: 0-374-15831-2 ; $35.00

Foreword by Czeslaw Milosz
Afterword by Susan Sontag.