Mikhail Aizenberg
American Academy in Rome, Winter 2002-2003.

Mikhail Aizenberg is a poet and essayist born in 1948. He graduated from the Moscow Architecture Institute and worked as an architect and restorer. None of his works were published during the Soviet period. In post-Soviet Russia he has published five books of poetry and two books of essays on contemporary Russian poetry. Aizenberg taught at School for Contemporary Art (subdivision of Russian State University for the Humanities). He also oversaw the O.G.I.F. poetry book series - one of the main projects of poetry publishing during 1990-2000. He has received the Andrey Bely Prize (2003) and the literary prizes of "Znamya" and "Strelets" magazines. The austere poetic means of Aizenberg's verse (following the style of Vladislav Khodasevich) echoes a stoic lyric temperament in the face of the restrictive cultural environment of the late Soviet period. Aizenberg's articles on the key figures of Russian poetry in the second half of the Twentieth Century (Joseph Brodsky, Vsevolod Nekrasov, and Evgeniy Haritonov) are remarkable for the precision of their analysis and the breadth of their cultural understanding.


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