Aleksandr Skidan

Aleksandr Skidan: Two films, two poems, and an interview

Photo of Aleksandr Skidan by Kelly Writers House staff, October 2016.

When the Soviet Union fell apart at the start of the 1990s, it seemed to many that social transformation and aesthetic revolution were in full synchronicity. What was left of the stuffy orthodoxy of Soviet culture and its official style of socialist realism was swept away, and the unofficial art and writing that had been developing for years in the underground and in alternative social spaces burst into public view.

Kevin M. F. Platt and Aleksandr Skidan in conversation

Photo of Aleksandr Skidan by Charles Bernstein.

Note: Aleksandr Skidan was born in Leningrad in 1965. He worked from the late 1980s through the 1990s as a stoker in a boiler room while becoming known for his innovative poetry, critical writings, and translations of contemporary American poetry and important works of critical theory.

Kino Eye

Translated by Marijeta Bozovic

Listen to Aleksandr Skidan read “Kino Eye” here; listen to the poem in English here.


Kino Eye

Aleksandr Skidan

Pierrot le Fou

Translated by Charles Bernstein, Catherine Ciepiela, Ariel Resnikoff, Stephanie Sandler, Val Vinokur, and Matvei Yankelevich

Listen to Aleksandr Skidan read “Pierrot le Fou” here; listen to the poem in English here.


Pierrot le Fou

Aleksandr Skidan on Close Listening

photo by Charles Bernstein / PennSound

Aleksandr Skidan was born in Leningrad in 1965. He is a poet, critic, essayist, and translator. In 2008 his book Red Shifting was published in USA by Ugly Duckling Presse, tr. Genya Turovskaya. He is the coeditor of the New Literary Observer magazine and lives in Saint Petersburg.

Program One: Skidan reads from Red Shifting (Brooklyn: Ugly Ducking Press, 2008) in Russian as well as reading  the English translations by Genya Turovskaya. MP3

Program Two: Skidan discusses his Ugly Duckling Press book, Red Shifting, the changes in the literary climate in Russia after 1989, the contemporary situation for poetry in Russia, and the mysticism of Arkadii Dragomoschenko.  MP3

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