Acclaimed poet to speak
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Award winning Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko, who has been hailed as “Russia’s Shakespeare” and drawn comparisons to Walt Whitman and Bob Dylan, will visit the campus of St. Cloud State.
Yevtushenko will speak at Ritsche Auditorium in Stewart Hall at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 5.
“Poetry and Global Humanity: Moment with Russia’s Yevtushenko” is free and open to the public.
Yevtushenko has garnered numerous accolades throughout his career. He was the first non-American to receive the Walt Whitman Poet in Residence award. In 2005 he was awarded the prestigious Premio Grinzane Covour literary prize in Italy. In 1991 he received what is considered the highest honor of the American Jewish Committee, the American Liberties Medallion, for “exceptional advancement of the principles of human liberty.”
In 1960 he was the first Russian to break through the Iron Curtain and recite his poetry in the West. In 1961 Yevtushenko published possibly his most famous poem, "Babi Yar" in which he denounced anti-Semitism in the former Soviet Union. He served in the first freely elected Russian parliament from 1988-99.
Along with Yevtushenko, St. Cloud State supporting cast/poets will read selections from his poetry.
Before the main event, a welcome reception will be at the Atwood Memorial Center in the Atwood Little Theatre Lounge from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Yevtushenko will be available to sign books at the end of the program.