Quick Study: Andrei Dementiev is a modern classic of Russian poetry who has published more than 40 poetry collections.
The Dementiev File: Andrei Dementiev is a classic of contemporary Russian poetry: many of his collections enjoy multiple printings and some have been known to sell hundreds of thousands of copies. Around 200 of Dementiev’s poems have been used as song lyrics. Dementiev’s editorial career was equally active: he served as a top editor at the journal Yunost (Youth) for two decades, publishing such writers as Vasily Aksyonov, Andrei Voznesensky, and Vladimir Voinovich. His media work has extended to broadcasting, where he has hosted programs, including a radio show with Russian cultural figures.
Psssst………: Dementiev is a member of Russia’s Public Chamber, an institution that oversees Russia’s legislative and executive branches, and government agencies. He represents his native Tver’.
Dementiev’s Places: Tver’: Born, raised, went to pedagogical institute, worked in journalism. Moscow: Studied at the Literary Institute, worked at literary journals, lives there. Israel: Served as a TV bureau chief for several years.
Dementiev on Dementiev: Dementiev’s official Web site concludes by summing up his interests: “Andrei Dmitrievich loves reading, classical music and songs, and historical films. He enjoys soccer, swimming, and gymnastics.”
On Writing: Dementiev said in an interview that he didn’t write much when he worked as an editor, “But it was a colossal experience! It was a colossal experience in just about every way. And I have to tell you that of course the life I lived in those years did a lot for me, so I could have books where I speak the truth that I want to speak.”
Dementiev Recommends: In an interview, after discussing numerous writers he published as an editor, Dementiev mentions several contemporary writers he enjoys, including Liudmila Ulitskaya (for her language) and Yuri Poliakov (for his unique views and irony). He also says favorite classic books are by Alexander Pushkin, Fyodor Tyutchev, and Mikhail Lermontov, and that he’s read Charles De Coster’s The Legend of Thyl Ulenspiegel and Lamme Goedzak seven times, finding something new with each reading.
Photo Credit: Mikhail Maksimov, Creative Commons