Dmitry Bykov Brings ‘A New World’ Poetry Evening and Workshop to London

Author Nastya Konstantinova
Category Culture, Education, News, People, Town
Date June 7 2024
Reading Time 2 min.

Dmitry Bykov Brings ‘A New World’ Poetry Evening and Workshop to London

On June 4, King’s College London hosted Dmitry Bykov, an award-winning Russian author and literary critic, for a night of poetry readings. While still in Russia, he had published over 90 books. However, since being declared a “foreign agent,” many booksellers have begun to withdraw his works from sale in his home country. Today Bykov resides in the United States, where he teaches Russian literature at Cornell and Rochester universities. Additionally, he participates in weekly discussions on various YouTube channels (for instance, in the Classic News program with journalist Aleksander Pluschev) and travels the world giving lectures and workshops.

As part of his European tour this summer, Dmitry Bykov arrived in London with his new poetry concert “A New World,” the title of which corresponds to the author’s latest published collection of poems written specifically in the past two years in the U.S. Bykov commenced his performance by reciting a poem which he had dedicated to Alexei Navalny – on that day, the imprisoned politician would have turned 48 years old.

Since the start of Russia’s war against Ukraine, Bykov has published two new books: the poetry collection “The New Browning” and the biography of Vladimir Zelensky, “VZ. Portrait Against the Background of the Nation.” He is currently working on a new novel about life in present-day Russia. In the foreword to “The New Browning,” the author states that many of the poems in this collection have been written “under the influence” of Robert Browning’s poetry. Indeed, the dramatic monologues and philosophical reflections in Bykov’s poems resemble those in the texts of the 19th-century English poet. The study of moral choice in the face of a global catastrophe and widespread injustice has evidently become the most consistent theme in Bykov’s new work. Both aforementioned books were presented to the public on the night of the concert and sold out before the writer’s performance began.

In between readings of poetry, the author responded to questions from the audience, providing reflections on the current political climate, as well as offering literary recommendations. The event was sold out; at the close of the evening, Bykov signed copies of his books and took photos with attendees.

The next day, the writer held a 6-hour intensive workshop on writing short prose. Bykov shared insights and techniques for writing short stories, essays, blog posts, and personal statements.

Dmitry Bykov will continue his European tour in major cities in Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain, concluding his literary travels in Portugal.

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