Poetry. Translated from the Russian by John High and Patrick Henry. Born in Siberia in 1948, Ivan Zhdanov emerged in the early 1980s as one of the leading Russian poets of his generation, admired by the traditionalists and the avant-garde alike. "I have never, under any circumstances, been directly engaged in politics," he said in a recent interview. "For me it was more important to discover the roots of the events that make up our lives, the life of our country, our society, and our history, in that order." Zhdanov's work has been honored by poets and critics around the world. According to Mikail Epstein, "Zhdanov is the master of depicting forms that seem already to have lost their substance but regain them in memory, in times of waiting, in the depth of a mirror or the shell of a shadow."
Ivan Zhdanov was born in Altay, in 1948, the ninth child in a peasant family. After studying at Barnaul Agricultural College, he entered Moscow State University as a student of journalism but was soon expelled from it "for being immature politically". He completed his education at Barnaul Institute of Education. In 1979, a few poems were published in a literary almanac. Zhdanov was one of the leaders of Metarealists, the group of poets that also included Alexey Parschikov and Vladimir Yeremenko. His first collection Portret / Portrait, was published in 1982, and subsequently berated by Soviet loyalist critics. His next collection, Nerazmennoe nebo / The Inconvertible Sky appeared in 1990; it was translated to English and published in the USA in 1997. Next book of his poems appeared in 1991. Zhdanov's arguably best collection, Fotorobot zapretnogo mira / Photorobot of a Forbidden World, appeared in 1997. He was awarded the Andrey Bely Prize in 1988, and the Apollon Grigoriev Prize in 1997. Zhdanov has moved to Crimea at the end of 1990s, and has since lived there.Author City: Crimea UKR