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Russia’s Rising Literary Talents Participate in PEN World Voices Festival, Read at National Arts Club
April 13, 2011

For Immediate Release

Friday, April 29, 2011 at 6:30pm
New Russian Poetry: A Bilingual Reading
The National Arts Club, Sculpture Court
15 Gramercy Park South, New York, NY
Free. RSVP online at
Please note that business casual attire is strongly encouraged for guests of the National Arts Club.

Contact: Anna Kadysheva
CEC ArtsLink
212-643-1985 x17
Maura Shelden
Program Manager,
Open World Russian Cultural Leaders program

Four poets from Russia will join 100 writers from around the world in New York from April 25 to May 1, 2011 to participate in the 7th annual PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature. While in New York, they will also give a separate reading at the National Arts Club. The poets will be in the US as part of the Open World Cultural Leaders Program, which will also include a week-long residency at the University of Pennsylvania earlier in April.

At PEN World Voices, Igor Belov, Viktor Ivaniv, Ksenia Shcherbino and Fedor Svarovskiy will individually take part in a series of diverse events, ranging from Poetry and Yoga at the Rubin Museum to a conversation with such notables as Vladimir Sorokin and Garry Kasparov (details of their festival appearances can be found below). New Yorkers will also have an opportunity to hear all four poets together at the National Arts Club’s beautiful Sculpture Gallery on April 29. Belov, Ivaniv, Shcherbino and Svarovskiy will read from their work in Russian, with English translations read by New York-based poets John Coletti and Laura Sims. The reading will be followed by a Q&A and light reception.

The Open World Cultural Leaders Program enables emerging leaders in the arts from Russia to travel to the US for short-term professional residencies and experience American democracy and cultural life in action. The young poets were selected for the program based on the merits of their work; all four boast publications in major Russian and international literary journals. Hailing from various parts of Russia such as Kaliningrad, Moscow and Siberia, they also differ widely in their style. Belov’s poetry paints a world tinged with loss, forgotten on the outskirts of geography and time. Ivaniv’s writing is inspired by the poetic tradition of the Russian avant-garde and draws from the rich material of the subconscious. Svarovskiy looks to the future, exploring sci-fi and fantasy themes and striving to establish a new approach to epic poetic narration. Shcherbino’s poetic language is fresh, playful and offers an often tongue-in-cheek female perspective.

Prior to arriving in New York City, the poets will spend a week on residency at the University of Pennsylvania from April 17 to April 25. On April 22–23, they will take part in the Department’s Contemporary Russian Poetry Symposium, joining leading specialists and translators from across the US. The poets will also give two bilingual public readings in Philadelphia: on Monday, April 18 at 7:00pm at Robin’s Bookstore and on Wednesday, April 20 at 7:00pm at Wooden Shoe Books.

The Open World Cultural Leaders Program is an endeavor of the Open World Leadership Cente with partnership and funding from the Renova Group of Companies.

PEN World Voices Events

Tuesday, April 26 at 7:00 p.m.
A Global and Literary Salon: From Russia with Love
With Igor Belov, Ksenia Shcherbino, and Svetlana Smolina; hosted by Ina Parker.
The Jerome L. Greene Space at WNYC, 44 Charlton St., New York City
In an intimate gathering at WYNYC’s beloved Jerome L. Greene Space, participants have a rare opportunity to hear Igor Belov and Ksenia Shcherbino, two of Russia’s young, rising literary talents read from their latest works. Sip a glass of wine, and delight in exquisite musical renderings by pianist Svetlana Smolina. A conversation about the global impact of Russian culture will follow.
Co-sponsored by HSBC, WNYC Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, and Fritt Ord.

Sunday, May 1 at 9:00 a.m.
Poetry and Yoga
With Viktor Ivaniv, Agi Mishol, Andrzej Sosnowski, Pia Tafdrop, and others
The Rubin Museum of Art, 150 West 17th St., New York City
For the first time in PEN history, poets will share their space with movement. Bringing poetry in closer, intentional proximity to the spirit, this yoga class, taught and curated by Virayoga founder Elena Brower, places participants among the whispers of the art of language, and in the Rubin Museum’s inspiring setting. Stationed throughout the class, poets will offer their work and voices to elevate us all.
Co-sponsored by The Rubin Museum of Art.

Sunday, May 1 at 1:00 p.m.
Russian in Two Acts
With Jamey Gambrell, Garry Kasparov, Vladmir Sorokin, and Fedor Svarovskiy; moderated by Christian Caryl
The Morgan Library & Museum, Lehrman Hall, 225 Madison Ave., New York City
Watch a World Champion chess player, now journalist, unravel the complexities of Russia’s cultural and geopolitical landscape. In Part One of this event, Garry Kasparov will offer his personal spin on the state of contemporary Russian politics and culture. After a brief intermission, a panel of Russian experts—from critics to novelists—will comment on Kasparov’s talk and engage in a debate about where this mammoth country is headed.
Co-sponsored by The Morgan Library & Museum, New York Review of Books, and Fritt Ord.

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CEC ArtsLink promotes international communication and understanding through collaborative, innovative arts projects. We support and produce programs that encourage the exchange of visual and performing artists and cultural managers in the United States and abroad. As an international organization, we believe that the arts are a society’s most deliberate and complex means of communication and that the work of artists and arts administrators can help nations overcome long histories of reciprocal distrust, insularity and conflict. Our organization was founded in 1962 to enable citizens of the United States and the Soviet Union to accomplish what their governments would not do–open doors, share ideas and build mutual trust. Our lasting partnerships abroad enable us to build and broaden our international reach, as today’s transformed and complex world makes citizen diplomacy more urgently necessary than ever.

Open World’s Cultural Leaders Program aims to forge better understanding between the United States and Russia by enabling emerging Russian leaders in the arts to experience America’s cultural and community life, and to work with their American counterparts. Support for the cultural program is provided through partnership and funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. Open World is a unique, nonpartisan initiative of the U.S. Congress. Delegates range from judges to mayors, from innovative nonprofit directors to experienced journalists, and from political party activists to regional administrators. Over 16,500 Open World participants have been hosted in all 50 U.S. states since the program’s inception in 1999.

The Renova Group of Companies is among Russia's leading private sector initiatives, with interests in mining, oil, metallurgy, mechanical engineering, chemical, real estate development, energy, telecommunications, nanotechnologies, utilities and financial services in Russia and internationally. The Renova Group is a significant supporter of philanthropic initiatives and active contributor to the arts, international relations, education and environment. Renova USA represents the Group in the United States and since 2004 has focused largely on philanthropic initiatives. Renova USA seeks to promote better relations between Russia and the United States through supporting Russian-U.S. arts and culture, education, civil society, media, social and development programs and organizations, and government and intergovernmental relations.

The Seventh Annual PEN World Voices of International Literature: April 25 to May 1, 2011
More than 100 writers from 40 nations convene in New York City to celebrate the power of the writers voice as a bold and vital element of public discourse. Dare to view the world from a fresh perspective at stages across the city, including the festivals hubs -- The Standard, New York and the High Line. The program features panel discussions, one-on-one conversations, readings, performances, and much more.

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