Here you can find information on the history of this site:

I used to do a feature called “Monday Night Poetry Club” – but I ran out of steam (as opposed to running out of poetry, which would be impossible). In fact, my writing used to be more personal, but then the hit-counter started to climb (which was unexpected), and I became proportionately shy. I eventually began publishing more poetry on here, because I wasn’t quite sure what else to do with this site.

I went through a period of breaking up some words with parentheses. This is because of the search-terms. At the time, I was living in Dubai, and didn’t want to get blocked by their national firewall. And then I moved.

I learned British English before I learned American English, and my spellings can be weird.

When it comes to Ukrainian vs. Russian spellings, I  use them interchangeably. So sometimes I’ll write “Kiev” and sometimes I’ll write “Kyiv.” These spellings are political these days, but in my personal writing, I could care less. The two languages are both an intimate part of my life, and that’s all anyone needs to know.

26 thoughts on “Meta

  1. Hi Natalia! I saw your comments on one Ali’s website, which I got to from, you go girl! Very nice, I wish I was as articulate, but hey, I didn’t go to Duke!

    Tim Baker

  2. hi natalia,

    ive read the natashas. yes horrific. in fact this is the ‘war on terror’ we should be fighting for…sept 11 killed 2000..yet each day 700,000 from eastern europe die inside… robbed of everything that makes life meaningful….wasted/robbed/brutalized as if the lives of these women meant nothing, will mean nothing, continue to mean nothing in the eyes of the world… o where art thou feminist?

    given that iraq is bad..yes 600,000 dead.. instantly dead.. very bad.. but worse is 700,000/year trafficked who die each day in captivity..

    each human being stripped of their name / stripped of freedom / to be forced to disown themselves / stripped of their natural right to be themselves / each day dying a little inside… everyday for the rest of their lives… brutalized / robbed of dignity / by this unbearable crime not of their making / innocent…

    as if we did not know the meaning of innocent…when the planes hit the twin towers..
    when iraqi civilians in the 100s of thousands could not escape the shower of bombs…

    as if…

    as if, we did not know the meaning of innocence…

    and its defense…

  3. Hi Natalia,

    I am working on a British documentary about the mail order bride industry for Channel 4.

    We are trying to locate the family of Alla Chevaganova, or Alla Barney who was murdered by her husband in 1995. She lived in Kyiev and I wondered whether you have had any dealings with her family?

    We are currently filming in the Ukraine and are looking to interview a woman who has had a bad experience through marrying a man through a marriage agency.

    Have you talked to any such women or the family of a woman who has been killed? could we employ you to help us find such a story. We need to be filming this within the next few days so if you could let me know as soon as possible whether you may be able to help I would appreciate it.

    Do you have a number I can call you on?

    Kind regards

  4. There was a documentary on tonight called “Sex Slaves” by a Toronto filmmaker named Ric Esther Bienstock… I’ve actually seen it twice previously. It’s an incredible look at sex slavery and follows a man as he searches through the Turkish underworld looking for his wife, who was basically kidnapped from Ukraine. I used your search widgit and couldn’t find anything on Bienstock, so just in case you haven’t seen it the entire documentary is on YouTube, ten minutes at a time. This is part one:

    And this is the 1983 classic Canadian rock hit “Raise A Little Hell” by Trooper… just so this comment isn’t totally serious:

  5. Natalia,
    Hi, came across your blog today and your comments about Nikita Mikhalkov’s film “Twelve”. I’d like to watch this film, any idea where I might be able to get a hold of it in the US?

  6. Hi Natalia 🙂

    Your many comments to Salon articles have always been lucid and considerate. Today I finally followed the link you provide there, and it has brought me here to your well written WordPress blog. I know I’ll enjoy reading this as I have your comments in Salon. {I just emailed the link to nine friends.}

    Oh, and I enjoy your English spelling convention quirks. I’m multilingual as well and have similar strangenesses. {I keep my Spelling Dictionaries set to ‘International’.}

    Anish ashza-ba-maadzwe-iin

    {I use an anonymous nom de plume en Salon.}

  7. Thank you! 🙂 I *should* be anonymous at Salon, but am just too lazy to come up with a pseudonym.

    Am addicted to Cary Tennis, as I’m sure you can tell. 😀

  8. Yes. I try to even the keel sometimes, but I realise it’s not nescessarily my job

    I think Cary does a pretty good job. More commentators ought to remember it’s an advice column

    I should be able to think of a way to give my pen name away to you. I know! She’ll send an Ojibwe greeting your way. Now, if I can just think of a context…

  9. Hey, are you still posting to Salon? I’m using a different alias these daze. And, I’ve matured. I was a little discombobulated for awhile

    I’m an Actress now, and we just finished a five week run of the Vag[in]a Monologues (and part of our cast did a reprise this weekend as a private engagement). My monologue was The Memory of Her Face. As you must know, the second part os about the disappeared women of Juaréz, Mexico. I had known nothing of this. Each time I finished and exited, I had to just grab into a shelf back stage for half a minute to recover. Situations like this exist Now, as we speak. It is so incredibly effed up

    Keep in touch ❤

  10. I just wandered on to your website. Terrific writing! Do you ever come to the UK? This August (16-22) I am doing a late night ‘Chekhov Cabaret’ 12:30am until? I am looking for guest artists to perform in celebration of Chekhov’s 150th and in aid of Richard Demarco’s 80th. Richard is the great impresaario of the Edinburgh Fringe and the avant-garde ( Your blog related to Chekhov and theatre and humor in Russia/Moscow today would be ideal to have you perform on stage.

    What do you think?


  11. Hi Michael -Thank you. I’m not much of a performer these days, and I am mystified by the idea of performing a blog even more so than by the idea of Chekhov cabaret – but it would be interesting to hear more.

    P.S. Joan, the commenting section at Salon is such a cesspool. Even if I did have time for it, I would totally stay away!

  12. Thanks. The Chekhov Cabaret we are doing in August features his earliest writings when AC was doing humorous and satiric sketches for popular magazines and newspapers in Moscow, during his medical studies and to help support his family. All this before he decided to become a serious writer. Many of stories are quite wild and surreal. Many are popular vaudevilles and very comic. I shall be getting actors and other performers to do these pieces plus talking about Chekhov with a number of guest artists and writers visiting the Edinburgh Festival ( and Different elements each night. You strike as someone who could make a unique contribution. It also sounds like you write plays (or trying to).

  13. Do you write poetry? Who are your favorite poets? You are so lucky you can read Ukrainian and Russian! I’d love to read some of your poems.

  14. Hello Natalia Antonova!
    Just happened across your article on “Death Care” and read it with interest. The sister of my best friend is now in hospice care. She suffered a stroke and is quickly going downhill. Danne and I visit, and she has good care, but it’s difficult to watch someone who was a fine artist, a teacher and wonderful person slowly dying. The only upside of it is that she no longer knows what is happening to her, and that’s a blessing.

    I’m a senior editor with an aviation magazine — Aviation International News, — and have been a journalist and news photographer most of my life. (B.S. in Photojournalism from Syracuse University). I always appreciate well-written and well researched stories, and your piece on hospice care fell smack dab in that category.

    Been to Russian on numerous occasions, for business and vacation, and always enjoyed it, Speak enough to embarrass myself. Love the history.

    If you ever need a source in the United States, or someone in aviation, feel free to write or call. Can’t say I know everything about aviation, but I know a lot of people who think they do, and a few who actually do. Always happy to help another journalist.

    Kirby Harrison
    Senior Editor
    Aviation International News

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