I completed a degree in Russian at Exeter University in 2007, and have been a professional Russian to English translator ever since. At the start of my career I worked as an in-house translator – for two law firms in Kyiv, Ukraine, then for a company that organised business conferences in the CIS region – before switching to taking on freelance projects in 2018. I now specialise in translating novels, books, articles and stories from the Eurasia region, from Ukrainian as well as Russian. I am based in Norwich, England. Some recent translations include:
- Little Squirrel by Belarusian author Andrei Geraschenko (Vitebsk Printing House, 2022) – A short story set in Belarus at the end of the Second World War, about the shame and inhumanity of war.
- Zhanyrtuu (Renewal) by Kyrgyz filmmaker Victoria Arkhangelskaya (2022) – English subtitles for a documentary film, about a woman in Kyrgyzstan caring for her adult daughter, who has a disability.
- ‘The two assaults on the Slovo writers’ house in Kharkiv’ (Vira Aheeva for Chytomo, 2022) – An article about Russia’s bombing of the Slovo writers’ residence, and how it echoes the damage done to the building by Stalin’s NKVD in the 1930s. Translated from Ukrainian.
- Three poems by the Tatar writer Lenar Shaekh (Tatarskoe Knizhnoe Izdatelstvo, 2021) – Reflections on a journey to Sweden; the spirituality of silence; and a poem to an unrequited love. Translated from Tatar, from notes in Russian.
- I Think We Should Just Live by the Russian poet Ekaterina Khlebnikova (Hertfordshire Press, 2021) – A collection of six poems.
- A Hundred Years on the Steppe by the Kazakh author Bayangali Alimzhanov (Hertfordshire Press, 2019) – A novel about the history of twentieth century Kazakhstan, told through events in the life of a hundred-year-old man, Asanbai Bektemirov. I also translated Bayangali Alimzhanov’s collection of fairy-tales Kind Askar (2021).
- ‘I want to live in style: the gay provocateur defying rebels in eastern Ukraine’ (Denis Boyarinov for The Guardian, 2015) – An interview with Ukrainian fashion designer Mikhail Koptev, published in The Guardian and on The Calvert Journal.
- ‘Our town: Extreme Cold. Pollution. So why do locals love the Arctic city of Norilsk?’ (Ian Evtushenko for The Calvert Journal, 2015) – A profile of the inhospitable city of Norilsk in northern Siberia.
Jonathan Campion is a writer, a translator from Russian and Ukrainian, and a book editor. He has travelled in Eurasia since 2005. Read about his work here, and contact him here.