Kevin M. F. Platt

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.

Russian poetic counterpublics

As we all know, poets can be difficult.

Now poet: Dmitry Golynko and the new social epic

Dmitry Golynko writes about the now. Since his debut in the early 1990s, Golynko’s ear has been tuned with extraordinary sensitivity to present linguistic conditions. His subject has been current social and political experience, which he studies with precise, close concentration. His writing — honed responses to his environment — constitutes a critical analysis, or perhaps an anatomy, of contemporary subjectivity.

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