Began writing poetry at the age of eight and since then during many years had been attending a legendary studio (“kruzhok”) for writing children led by poet Viacheslav Leikin. She published her first book of poetry “Christmas” in 1991, -- now her tenth book of poetry “A Sunny Morning in the Square” has been published in Saint Petersburg.
Barskova left Russia at the age of twenty to pursue a PhD in Russian Studies at UC Berkeley, having already earned a graduate degree and become an accomplished poet in her homeland. Three books of Barskova’s poetry were translated into English This Lamentable City (Tupelo Press, 2010), The Zoo in Winter: Selected Poems (Melville House, 2011), and Relocations (Zephyr Press) 2015As a professor of Russian literature at Hampshire College, Barskova began an archival project that resulted in Written in the Dark: Five Poets in the Siege of Leningrad (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2016), an anthology of work written during the siege that remained unknown for decades.
Now Barskova lives in Amherst (MA) with her daughter Frosia where she is teaching Russian literature at Hampshire College; working on a number of projects dedicated to culture and poetry in the besieged Leningrad (1941-44). At the end of 2015 Barskova received Andrey Bely Prize for her book of prose “Living Pictures”, her play with the same title is staged in Moscow Theatre of Nations.