English Professor Wins Italian Literary Prize
Saturday, September 22, 2012
ITALIAN LITERARY PRIZE FOR UNIVERSITY OF TULSA PROFESSOR
In April of 2012 University of Tulsa Russian professor Yevgeny Yevtushenko and graduate student/teacher James Bachman read from their common translation a new Yevtushenko’s love poem entitled “Dora Franco: A Delayed Confession.” The poem, which was written and performed at the University of Tulsa, was warmly received by an audience of professors, students and interested spectators.
On September 22, 2012, an Italian translation of the poem earned international acclaim when Yevgeny Yevtushenko received the Lerici Pea, a prestigious Italian poetry prize. To receive the prize Yevtushenko visited the quaint but famous town of Liguria, a place that has enamored writers such as Lord Byron, Percy Shelley and Ernest Hemingway. Yevtushenko joins an elite group of recent recipients of the prize, which has been received by Ive Bonnefoy (France), Lawrence Ferlinghetti (USA), Hans Magnus Enzensberger (Germany), Adonis ( Siria), Jesper Swenbro (Algier) and Bella Akhvadulina (Russia). On September 19, before receiving the prize, Yevtushenko participated in an introduction of the giant Picasso exhibit that recently opened at the Palazzo Reale Milan. At this event he shared a story about a personal encounter with the great artist and recited a poem about one of Picasso’s paintings. Additionally, Yevtushenko performed a reading of his poem in Italian translation with a group of actors. The Lerici Pea was awarded to Yevtushenko for his continuation of the great literary traditions established by classic Russian writers such as Pushkin and Mayakovsky. This was the 11th literary prize received by Yevtushenko in Italy. During the prize ceremony, Yevtushenko also received a medal of honor sent to him by the president of the Italian Republic.