National Endowment for the Arts and Library of Congress
Washington, DC -- The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is partnering with the Library of Congress to host an evening of readings by three Russian poets on Monday, April 7, 2008. The reading celebrates the release of Contemporary Russian Poetry: An Anthology, a new Russian and English anthology published by Dalkey Archive Press. The poetry reading will take place at 7:00 pm in the Mumford Room on the sixth floor of the James Madison Building at the Library of Congress (101 Independence Avenue, SE). The reading is free and open to the public.
Visiting poets Elena Fanailova, Yuli Gugolev, and Evgeny Bunimovich will read selected work from the anthology in Russian. NEA Director of Theater and Musical Theater Bill O’Brien will read an English translation of each poem. After the reading NEA Chairman Dana Gioia will moderate a question-and-answer session with the poets followed by a book signing and reception.
"Russia has been the birthplace of some of the world's greatest poets, from Alexander Pushkin to Anna Akhmatova to Joseph Brodsky. This new anthology continues the longstanding tradition of artistic exchange between the U.S. and Russia," said NEA Chairman Dana Gioia. "I am delighted to partner with the Library of Congress for this reading to introduce some of Russian's newest bright voices to the U.S."
Contemporary Russian Poetry features the work of more than 40 Russian poets born after 1945, many of whom have not been previously published in the West. The new anthology was published as part of an international literary exchange between the NEA and the Foundation for Creative Projects in Russia. Contemporary Poetry of the U.S., featuring work by more than 40 U.S. poets, was published in Russia by OGI Press in October 2007. This special literary exchange is part of the U.S. Department of State Global Cultural Initiative, a multi-faceted international cultural diplomacy effort characterized by partnerships with U.S. government and private sector cultural agencies and institutions.
The reading at the Library of Congress is part of a three-city book tour to Washington, DC, New York City, and Chicago presented by Dalkey Archive Press.
About the Poets
Evgeny Bunimovich was born in 1954 in Moscow. He is the editor of Contemporary Russian Poetry: An Anthology. Bunimovich is the author of seven books of poetry, including Yestestvenniy otbor [Natural Selection], which won the Moscow Prize in Literature and Art, and, most recently, Yezhednevnik [Daily Journal]. He is a recipient of the Order of Academic Palms (France) and president of the Moscow International Festival of Poets. As a columnist for Novaya Gazyeta, Bunimovich won the Best Individual Style in Journalism Prize and the Union of Journalists of Russia Prize. He teaches mathematics, and has authored several textbooks. He is Chairman of the Moscow City Duma Education Department.
Elena Fanailova was born in 1962 in the Voronezhskaya region. She is the author of Puteshestvie [Travels], S osobym tsinizmom [With Particular Cynicism], Transilvaniya bespokoit [Transylvania is Worrisome], and Russkaya versiya [Russian Version]. An English translation of her work is forthcoming from Ugly Duckling Presse. Fanailova was the winner of the Andrei Bely Prize (1999) and the Moskovskiy schyot Grand Prize (2003). She works as a journalist for the Moscow bureau of Radio Svoboda.
Yuli Gugolev was born in 1964 in Moscow. He is a translator and the author of two books of poetry: Polnoe. Sobranie sochineniy [Complete Works] and Komandirovochnye predpisaniya [Official Instructions] (Moscow: Novoe izdatel’stvo, which won the Moskovskiy schyot Grand Prize. Gugolev works in the regional division of the International Commission of the Red Cross in the Russian Federation.
About the National Endowment for the Arts
The National Endowment for the Arts is a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts, both new and established, bringing the arts to all Americans, and providing leadership in arts education. Established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government, the Arts Endowment is the largest national funder of the arts, bringing great art to all 50 states, including rural areas, inner cities, and military bases. For more information, please visit www.arts.gov.
About the Library of Congress
Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation's oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, with more than 134 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. As the world’s largest repository of knowledge and creativity, the Library is a symbol of democracy and the principles on which this nation was founded. Today the Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on site in its 21 reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its award-winning Web site at www.loc.gov.
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