Russian Novelist and Literary Legend Yevgeny Yevtushenko to Read at Hamilton College
Born in Zima Junction, Siberia, Yevtushenko is probably Russia's best-knownliving poet. He published his first poem at the age of 16 and his first novelat 19. In 1960, the 27-year-old Yevtushenko became the first Russian poet tobreak the Iron Curtain and to recite his poetry in the West. In 1961, hepublished what is probably his best-known and most controversial poem "BabiYar," about anti-Semitism.
An active political dissident, Yevtushenko protested the Soviet invasion ofCzechoslovakia, wrote a poem denouncing the war in Afghanistan and campaignedfor the release of Vaclav Havel from prison. In December 1994, to protest thebloodshed in Chechnya, Yevtushenko publicly refused to accept Russia's highesthonor "The Order of Friendship Between Peoples" from Boris Yeltsin.
From 1988 to 1991, Yevtushenko served as a member of the first freely electedSoviet parliament. In August 1991, he witnessed the collapse of the SovietUnion, which is the subject of his last novel Don't Die Before You'reDead (Random House, 1995).
Yevtushenko's visit to Hamilton is sponsored by the departments of English,Russian Studies and comparative literature and the President's Focus Series onCivility, Diversity and Conflict Resolution.
The reading will be followed by a reception and book-signing at EmersonGallery.