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Andrei Voznesensky Biography | Poet

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Andrey Andreyevich Voznesensky (b. May 12, 1933, Moscow) is a Russian poet and writer who has been referred to by Robert Lowell as "one of the greatest living poets in any language." He lives and works in Moscow.

Early in his life, Andrey was fascinated with painting and architecture, in 1957 graduating from the Moscow Architectural Institute. His enthusiasm for poetry, though, proved to be stronger. While still a teenager, he sent his poems to Boris Pasternak; the friendship between the two had a strong influence on the young poet.

His first poems were published in 1958 and immediately reflected his unique style. His lyrics are characterized by his tendency "to measure" the contemporary person by modern categories and images, by the eccentricity of metaphors, by the complex rhythmical system and audio effects. Vladimir Mayakovsky and Pablo Neruda have been cited among the poets who influenced him most.

In 1960s, during the so-called Thaw, Voznesensky frequently traveled abroad: to the U.S., France, Germany, Italy and other countries. Popularity of Voznesensky, Yevgeny Yevtushenko and Bella Akhmadulina were marked by performances in front of the adoring thousands at the stadiums, in the concert halls and universities. One collection of his poems, "Antimiry" ("Anti-worlds") served as the basis for a famous performance at the Taganka Theater in 1965.

Voznesensky's friendship with many contemporary writers, artists and other intellectuals is reflected in his novels and articles. He is known to wider audiences for the superhit Million of Scarlet Roses that he penned for Alla Pugacheva in 1984 and for the hugely successful rock opera Juno and Avos (1979), based on the life and death of Nikolay Rezanov.

In 1978 Voznesensky was awarded the USSR State Prize. He is an honorable member of ten academies, including Russian academy of learning (1993), the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Parisian Académie Goncourt and others.

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