Alyssa Dinega Gillespie

Affiliation: Russian
Associate Professor of Russian - on leave for the 2020-21 academic year

Professor Gillespie is the author of A Russian Psyche: The Poetic Mind of Marina Tsvetaeva (2001), which was published in a revised and updated Russian-language edition in 2015 as Marina Tsvetaeva: po kanatu poezii (Marina Tsvetaeva: Along the Poetic Tightrope). She is the editor of Russian Literature in the Age of Realism (2003) and Taboo Pushkin: Topics, Texts, Interpretations (2012) and the author of articles on Tolstoy, Gorky, Pushkin, Mandelstam, Tsvetaeva, Brodsky, Pawlikowska, and Sep-Szarzynski. She is also an award-winning translator of Russian poetry, having received first prize in the 2012 Compass Awards, second prize in the 2011 Compass Awards, and joint third place in the 2011 inaugural Joseph Brodsky/Stephen Spender translation competition; her translations and original poems have been published in several anthologies and in journals such as the New England Review, the Atlanta Review, and ​Cardinal Points Journal. Her current major project is a study of the role of crime and conscience in the poetics of Alexander Pushkin, tentatively titled Dangerous Verses: Alexander Pushkin and the Ethics of Inspiration. Most broadly, Professor Gillespie's research and teaching interests include Russian and Polish poetry, gender issues in literature, the poetry of exile, the psychology of poetic genius, Russian film and artistic culture, poetic translation, and Russian language at all levels. She lived in Moscow and taught English literature in Russian high schools for three years before completing her graduate education. She comes to Bowdoin after 17 years of teaching at the University of Notre Dame, where she was co-director of the program in Russian and East European Studies.

Curriculum Vitae

Gillespie headshot


  • PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • MA, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • BA, Brandeis University