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Arkady Shtypel and Maria Galina are two of Russia’s most well-known living poets, and among the foremost voices of the Russian literary scene. This evening they will read their own poems, classical poetry and Russian translations of English poets.  

The evening will also be a discussion of modern Russian literature in general – the influences that shape it, the causes that direct it, the audiences that read it, and its role in the Russian-speaking world.

Arkady Shtypel’s literary career started in the early 1960s, and took off in 1965, when he was expelled from the Physics Faculty of Dniepropetrovsk University ‘po ideologii’ – for his dissident ideas. Thus black-listed and prevented from following a more conventional Physics-based career, Shtypel moved to Moscow where he worked many and varied professions – as a maths teacher, security guard, photographer, and a small-scale importer of Chinese goods. His first book of poems Grazhdane Nochi was published in 1989. Since then he has gone on to win numerous prizes, and built up a firm reputation as a poet of linguistic freedom, plasticity and clarity. He is also a well-regarded translator of Dylan Thomas and Shakespeare.

Maria Galina graduated from Odessa University with a degree in marine biology. In 1995 she gave up sea expeditions for the literary life. She is now a widely published science-fiction writer, an acclaimed poet, critic and translator. Her work contains a thread of magical realism and a thoughtful examination of gender issues. Among her novels, Volchia Zvezda and Iramification (2004) were both awarded prizes at the International Assembly Portal in Kiev in 2005, whilst Malaya Glusha and Medvedky have appeared on the shortlists for the Russian Bolshaya Kniga Prize, the Russian Booker Prize and the Big Book Prize between 2009 and 2011.