Evgenii Aleksandrovich Evtushenko
Evgenii Evtushenko, USSR Poet, author.
Evtushenko, Evgenii was born on July 18, 1933 in Zima, Siberia.
Brought up by his mother, a divorced geologist. Both his grandfathers (one Ukrainian and one Latvian) perished in Stalin’s purges. Moved to Moscow, 1944.
Became widely known in the mid-1950s as the voice of his generation during the post-Stalin thaw, with such poems as Stantsiia Zima. Became the idol of mass poetry readings in the early 1960s. His poems, Babii Iar and Nas/edniki Stalina, were published in a central party newspaper in Moscow and created a sensation.
Later became known for his cautious establishment line on official trips abroad, and cautiously liberal line inside the USSR, earning in turn praise and criticism both from the establishment and the dissidents. Although his poetic achievements hardly justify his fame, some of his lyrics belong with the best of modern Soviet poetry. Married Bella Akhmadullina, a poetess of his generation who was equally famous at the time.
His third wife was English, and he has called himself a ‘son-in-law of Great Britain’, a country which he has visited many times, invariably with great success. Has written an autobiography with an interesting and sincere description of his life as a youth, marked by his experiences of World War II and Stalinism (published in London). Also published his photographic work and made films.
Influential in the Union of Writers during the glasnost period.