The program of concerts of the XIII international Winter arts festival in Sochi

Tournament Of Poets

Tournament Of Poets 2020
February 15, 2020
Beginning at 17:00
Organ Hall

For the third time, the Winter International Arts Festival in Sochi hosts the Tournament of Poets. Poetry contests enjoyed wide popularity in Russia a hundred years ago, in the Silver Age epoch. In those days, tournaments took place in St. Petersburg artistic cafes The Stray Dog and The Comedian Shelter. Later in the 1920s, the tournaments moved to the Polytechnic Museum in Moscow. Half a century ago, in the years of the Soviet Thaw, open poetry events resumed in Moscow.

The poetry initiative of the Sochi Festival already bears fruit. Poets of different generations, their admirers, critics, art specialists, and musicians constitute the ever growing audience of the Organ Hall of the Sochi Philharmonic on poetry tournament days.

Participants of the tournament

This time, the tournament participants are strikingly different from each other.

Poet, literature specialist, researcher in the poetry by now forgotten Russian poet Tikhon Churilin, translator from English and Spanish Denis Beznosov (b. 1988) is the youngest tournament participant. Heir to the traditions of the Russian and European avant-garde and futurism, he stands out from the generation of the thirty-year-olds.

The laureate of literary awards for his translations from Rainer Maria Rilke, Alyosha (Alexey) Prokopiev (b. 1957) is a poet of the Chuvash origin who chairs literary translation seminars in Maxim Gorky Literary Institute in Moscow and opens the worlds of poetry created by English, German, Swedish, French, and Chuvash poets to Russian readers.

Readers and literary experts are familiar with the name of Tatiana Shcherbina (b. 1954), the editor of The Anthology of the Modern French Poetry, founder and editor-in-chief of the journal Estet, journalist of Radio Liberty.  Her poems in Russian and French have been published in many countries.

Poets often pay a tribute to journalism, but not everyone has made great in it. Among the participants of the 2020 Sochi Tournament of Poets there is a poet, journalist, lawyer, winner of the First All-Russian Tournament The Red Square. The Time of Poets and holder of the title Voice of our Age, laureate of Bunin, Voloshin, and Tiutchev awards Maria Vatutina (b. 1968).  The journal Novyi mir described her as “a poet with a burning soul, a poet-narrator, who has deeply absorbed pains, loves, and dramas of her home land.” One more participant is the curator of the Egyptian Nights literary project, a journalist, editor, popular journals reviewer, and author of movingly innocent lyrical poetry Anna Arkatova (b. 1962). Another participant with a journalistic background is Elena Isaeva (b. 1966) who graduated from the Faculty of Journalism of Moscow State University, but is now known as the chair of the literary studio of Bauman Moscow State Technical University, a poet, and a playwright. Her plays and poems have been translated into many languages (the play Of My Mom and Me got the award Deistvuyushchie litsa (Cast of Characters), and the radio adaptation of this play received the award of the European Broadcasting Union in Berlin.

Poet, philologist, essayist Alexey Kubrik (b. 1959) served in the Soviet army, worked as a guard, a mover, and a cabinet-maker. He is now known not only for his poems, but also for his publications, seminars, and courses in the Russian twentieth century poetry, which he teaches at different universities.

Finally, there is one of the most unusual participants – a native of Buryatia Amarsana Ulzytuev (b. 1963). Born to a poetry dynasty, he gained recognition already in the 1980s, but later changed his style, having developed and theoretically grounded a new model of the Russian verse, “with the anaphora and the anaphoric rhyme as a system that predisposes the birth of a new form of a big style which is coming to replace the rhyme…”

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