Maria Stepanova is a contemporary poet, essayist, and the editor of the online cultural portal colta.ru. She has authored at least ten books mostly of poetry, but also prose, semi-prose and essays. Her poems have been translated into English, French, Italian, Hebrew, and German among other languages. Her poetics are very unique, at once distinctive and protean, contemporary and traditional. She is credited with having revived the traditional genre of the ballad. In scholarship devoted to her poetry, Stepanova is also credited with using traditional prosody, unlike some other contemporary poets, and at the same time experimenting with literary techniques that have been taken for granted in preceding decades. She has been experimenting with authentic poetic voice, speaking in voices that are not her own.
April 4-5 2016, UC Berkeley had the opportunity to host Maria Stepanova for two events, highlighting her roles as the editor of an independent media publication and as a poet.