Maxim Osipov presents: Contemporary Russian Poetry

Programme editor
Leading up to the Forum on European Culture (June 2023) De Balie curates four episodes about Russian literature and music, in collaboration with Maxim Osipov. Writers, scholars and experts on Russian literature will shed their light on Russian literature, from the classics to the new voices.

In this programme, we will listen to the poetry of the acclaimed writers Gandlevsky and Gugolev, and talk with them about their work and life. What inspires them in their writing, how do they look at the current events in Russia, and what does this mean for literature and poetry? There will be music from Maryana Osipova and Dmitry Hahalin.

Culture cannot be viewed separately from social and political developments, especially in Russia. Artists respond to political developments, at the same time they are being used, abused and oppressed by those in power throughout history. A characteristic of Russian artists during the time of communism. Again, the world is at war and a display of power is being played out in the European continent. Russia’s band with Europe is special in a way that a lot of Russian literature and culture throughout history is represented by Russians who fled the country. How is literature and culture formed by fleeing your home country? And for the artists that have stayed, how have the political developments within Russia shaped their line of work and thinking?

About the speakers

Sergey Gandlevsky has been writing poetry since 1970. Before the mid-1980s his poetry was published only abroad in émigré publications. Since the late 1980s it has been published in a wide range of venues in Russia and abroad. Published nine books of poetry, eight collections of essays and two novels. In 2009 he won the “Moskovskii schet [Moscow Reckoning]” Prize, in 2010 — Russian National “Poet” Prize. Poems of Gandvelsky have been translated into two dozens of languages. Since 2022 he lives in Georgia.

Yuliy Gugolev is a poet, graduated from Literary Institute, worked as a paramedic and at the International Red Cross Committee in Moscow. Author of a book of palindromes and six books of poems. Made new translations of the songs of The Three Penny Opera by Bertolt Brecht for Moscow Art Theater (director Kirill Serebrennikov). Laureate of the “Moscow account” award (2007). Winner of the All-Russian Poetry Prize (2020) — main Russian prize for poetry. He lives in Moscow.

Maryana Osipova and Dmitry Hahalin are members of the Eliot Quartett, which founded in 2014. Hailing from Canada, Germany and Russia, the quartet’s members formed the group in Frankfurt am Main and have since gone on to win prizes at major national and international music competitions.

Nina Targan Mouravi, Dutch-Georgian artist, performer and translator, translated the poems of Yuli Gugolev into Dutch specially for this evening.


Maxim OsipovRussian writer and cardiologist
Yuliy GugolevWriter and poet
Sergey GandlevskyWriter and essayist
Dmitry HahalinViolist of the Eliot Quartet
Maryana OsipovaViolinist of the Eliot Quartet

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