Sergei Esenin Anniversary Evening, with David and Lyudmila Matthews

In the year of the 120th anniversary of his birth and the 90th anniversary of his death, join David and Lyudmila Matthews and Alla Gelich for a special celebration of the life and poetry of Sergei Yesenin.  Talks and poetry in Russian and English.  This is a Pushkin Club event and all are welcome.

David Matthews will introduce the life and works of Yesenin in English.  Lyudmila Matthews will speak in Russian on Yesenin in Moscow; his life in America with Isadora Duncan; his marriage to Sofia Tolstaya (granddaughter of Lev Tolstoy); his time in a psychiatric hospital and his early death ('Goodbye, my friend, goodbye...').

A selection of Yesenin's poems will be read in Russian by Alla Gelich and by David Matthews and Robert Chandler, each in their own English translations.

Dr David Matthews, after graduating from UCL in Classics, undertook research at Cambridge University on the relations between Ancient Greece and the Near East.  In 1965 he was appointed lecturer in Urdu (and later Nepali) at SOAS, where he was awarded his Ph.D. He has published widely and at present is translating the verse of the 14th century Persian poet, Hafez.

Dr Lyudmila Matthews graduated from Kiev University.  After submitting her Ph.D. thesis from Moscow University, she was seconded by Kiev to Osmania University in Hyderabad (India) to teach Russian.  Lyudmila and her husband David are long-standing members of the Pushkin Club and from time to time have delivered lectures there. 

 Alla Gelich, our Russian reader, is also a long-standing member of the Pushkin Club, and has recited Russian poetry on numerous occasions – in Great Britain, Russia, Belgium, Holland and Germany.

Robert Chandler is a long-standing member of the Pushkin Club Committee and one of the UK’s leading translators of Russian literature – Pushkin, Leskov, Grossman and Platonov. He was co-editor of the Penguin Book of Russian Poetry (2015).