Isaac Babel, Dmitry Shostakovich, and Anna Akhmatova star in this series of portraits of some of the greatest writers, artists, and composers of the twentieth century. "We stopped and Shklovsky told me / quietly, but clearly, / 'Remember, we are on our way out. / On our way out.' And I recalled / ... the wall of books, / all written by a man / who lived / in times that were hard to bear." Lev Ozerov's finest book, Portraits Without Frames comprises fifty intimate, skillfully crafted accounts of meetings with important figures, ranging from fellow poets Anna Akhmatova and Boris Pasternak, to prose writers Isaac Babel and Andrey Platonov, to artists and composers Vladimir Tatlin and Dmitry Shostakovich. It is both a testament to an extraordinary life and a perceptive mini-encyclopedia of Soviet culture. Composed in delicate, rhythmic free verse, Ozerov's portraits are like nothing else in Russian poetry.