The Powerlessness of Language: How to Write Poetry in Times of Crisis

The Powerlessness of Language: How to Write Poetry in Times of Crisis
Thu April 27th 2017, 6:30 - 8:30pm
William R. Hewlett Teaching Center 201

Speakers): Roman Osminkin, and Pavel Arseniev (Russia), and Serhiy Zhadan (Ukraine)

Poetry reading and discussion with the leading poets and political activists: Roman Osminkin and Pavel Arseniev (Russia) and Serhiy Zhadan (Ukraine)

This evening will bring together three leading Russian and Ukrainian poets and political activists to read their poetry and discuss some of the most pressing issues of the artists in the post-Soviet space. In particular, these poets will address the efficacy of language and the poetic form in the face of human loss, the task of creating a dialogue with those on the other side of the front line, and the place of the poet in times of humanitarian crisis and resurgent authoritarian rule. In addition to showcasing some of the newest and most interesting poetry from Russian and Ukraine, this event will serve as a forum for the poets from both countries to share their insight into the cultural and socio-political crises that they confront in their poetry and activism.



Introductory remarks: Jason Cieply and Yuliya Ilchuk (Slavic Languages and Literatures Department)

Commentary and discussion: Pavel Arseniev (St. Petersburg)

Q&A and book signing session


Serhiy Zhadan, Kharkiv - Ukrainian writer, translator, political activist, front man of the ska band Dogs in Space

Roman Osminkin, St. Petersburg - Russian poet, performing and video artist, art historian, member of the Laboratory of Poetic Actionism, singer in the politically engaged group Techno-Poetry

Pavel Arseniev, St. Petersburg - Russian poet, artist, literary critic, editor-in-chief of the literary journal Translit