Revolutionary Russian poet in Malta this month

Yevgeny Yevtushenko

Yevgeny Yevtushenko

Russian Poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko – best-known for his poem Babi Yar and the eponymous symphony made in collaboration with composer Dmitri Shostakovich – will visit Malta at the end of June.

The distinguished Russian poet, writer, actor and film director will attend a literary evening with readings of a few of his poems, translated into Maltese. The event will be moderated by award-winning Maltese writer Immanuel Mifsud.

Yevtushenko’s visit is expected to create waves in the local literary community, especially among members of the Moviment Qawmien Letterarju, a movement of literary revolutionaries particularly active in the 1960s, who looked towards Yevtushenko as their main source of inspiration. Their legacy has informed the Maltese literary scene since then.

Born in Siberia, Russia, in 1933, Yevtushenko became one of the most famous poets of the 1950s and 1960s in the Soviet Union. He is known across the world for his powerful poem, Babi Yar, written in 1961. He protested the Soviet Union’s refusal to recognise Babi Yar, a ravine in Kiev, as a site where Nazis committed a mass murder of 33,000 Jews in September 1941. Yevtushenko and Shostakovich toured many countries with the performances of Babi Yar, and made several recordings of the Symphony No 13. The site of Babi Yar is now an important World War II memorial.

Yevtushenko received numerous awards

Yevtushenko has received numerous Russian and international awards for his literary works. In 1962, he was featured on the cover of Time magazine. In 2007 he was nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature for Babi Yar. Earlier this month, he received the Unesco medal and diploma “for outstanding contribution to developing culture and strengthening inter-cultural dialogue and relations among nations”.

The event promises to be a unique opportunity to meet the poet, gain insights into his work and discuss poetry and ideas.

The evening is being made possible through the initiative of Arts Council Malta, Snezhana and Evgueni Bodishtianu, principals of the RBSM International Boarding School in Malta and through the support of the National Book Council.

The event will be held in Maltese and is free and open to the public. Doors will be open 30 minutes before the event. Seating is limited.

To reserve a seat send an e-mail to [email protected] by Thursday at noon.

The event is being held on Saturday at 7.30pm at the Russian chapel in San Anton Palace, Attard.


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