December 20th - The National Writers Association of USA and the Pushkin Society
of America worked as a team to put together a pre-Christmas meeting. Alexandria Feiz officially opened the meeting by greeting all the Russian-Americans
present and explaining the organizations' roles, as well as the colleagues' plans for the future. She then passed the microphone to the director of the program, writer Tatyana Sheremeteva, who is
the official representative of the community in this professional literary field. The main event of the evening was a chat with Sergei Hollerbauch and his presentation of his book 'New York on My
Mind', which was introduced by the editor in chief of 'New Journal',
Marina Adamovich. Hollerbach's memoirs have been published in the magazine multiple times, and this is not the first time the editorial board chose to publish his book as well. Marina Adamovich ended on an interesting note, the incredible destiny of Sergei L'vovich - the oldest member of the American Academy of Design; artist, writer, and all around charming person, who in his 92 years of life led an amazing journey.
In his narrative of the past he recounts many prominent figures of culture, ones which shaped the image U.S.A. emitted directly after the second World War, and touched on several humorous episodes. It should be mentioned that this was released as the English translation, as the earlier book was published in Russian and under the name 'New York Notebook'. Excerpts from the texts were masterfully voiced by American actor Peter von Berg.
December 14th, at Columbia University in New York in two languages: Russian and English took place the historical and literary program, dedicated to the 190th anniversary of the Decembrists' uprising at the Senate Square in 1825. The organizers of the evening - Russian Council of Manhattan and the Bronx, and Pushkin Society in America. Points of view on the issue of "Decembrists Yesterday,
Today and Tomorrow" were presented by the doctor of historical sciences, political scientist and publicist Alexander Yanov and author of books on mythology Decembrism Professor Lyudmila Trigoso. Dmitri Glinski and Victoria Kurchenko drew parallels between the decembrism and dissidence, described the study of the human rights movement. The guests of the evening liked to see and here the voice of Naum Korzhavin.
Also, the video series was continued with songs of A. Galich, a fragment of a lecture by Yuri Lotman with its famous talking about the Russian culture of the first half of the XIX century. Right before the curtain fell, Vadim Astrakhan, author of "Vysotsky in English," offered comic look at intellectuals by Timur Shaov and Vladimir Vysotsky.
December 5th, Chapel Hill, North Carolina the award was presented to Naum Korzhavin - a man who has left an indelible mark in Russian poetry as well as in the movement for human rights and civil liberties in former Soviet Union.
2015 Award Committee:
American-Russian -speaking Association for Civil & Human Rights,
General Petro Grigorenko Foundation,
Lodyjensky Immigration Archive Center for Russian & Ukrainian Culture,
Russian-speaking Community Council of Manhattan & the Bronx,
The Andrei Sakharov Foundation,
The Pushkin Society in America,
V. Rev. Mikhael Aksionov Meerson, Rabbi Leonid Feldman, Boris Tenzer, Tatiana Yankelevich.
The Russian-Speaking Diaspora Justice Award of 2015 is bestowed upon NAUM KORZHAVIN in recognition of the power of his poetic dialogue with Russia's past and present, his fearlessness in the face of controversy, and his unwavering commitment to human dignity.
November 15th, in the National Writers Union, Victoria Kurchenko, the president of the Pushkin Society of America, held the opening in the bilingual program, which will now be a tradition. She expressed gratitude in her speech to the colleagues who have contributed to the creation of this program: to Tatiana Sheremeteva, a member of the NWU, representative of it, as well as Co-Chairs Alexandra and Faiz Yuseff Salaam, who have opened the doors for uniting literary talents.
Professor from at Lehman College, CUNY Dr. Dmitry Garanin, executive editor of the Bulletin; professor at Columbia University, cultural studies, linguistics and literary critic Dr. Boris Gasparov; writer and translator Olga Bukhina; poet Garrett Robinson and Rudolf Furman, author of the project "Vysotsky in English" translator and performer of songs Vadim Astrakhan went before an audience. Lead coordinator was Julia Khramtsova.
The big event for the community was their own creation of Bulletin Pushkin Society, which is to exist only in electronic version and will be accessible in all the libraries for those who wish to receive it. The magazine is intended as a Periodic, with the release of four times a year in two languages and a corresponding number of registrations in the Library of Congress. The editorial board consists of: Boris Borukaev, Inna Grubmair and Natalia Mizuri. The author of the idea of a printed publication is Rostislav Polchaninov, one of the oldest representatives of Russian emigration in America. An interview with him was published in the pages of the Bulletin.
After the official speeches in the comfortable room of the Writers' Union, everyone was surprised by the unusual reception, organized by the only private museum of vodka in the United States. The king of anecdotes, Leo Mezhburd, a great lover and connoisseur of Pushkin, gave a brief lecture about the history of alcoholic drinks and their impact on the creative process.
October 17th. A discussion of books by Garret B. Robinson took place at the National Writers Union. The greatest attention received his poem “Martha” that was released in 2012 and made the author famous. The heroine of the poetic narrative is a ballet dancer. Robinson is writing not just about a particular woman but rather about what it means to be a ballet dancer, investigating the existence of the dance. “She was dancing even before she was born, then in her childhood, then in her adult life, through her career, through the obstacles of everyday and internal life”.
Such purposefulness leads to composure and frees not only the muscles but also the energy of freedom. In a lyrical form, the author looks into the potential of human abilities. Books were on sale in the hall of the New York chapter of the Union.
October 9-11th. 8th Independent Festival of Russian Documentary Cinema in New
York, RusDocFilmFest-3W took place at the Anthology Film Archives, DCTV and at the Brooklyn Public Library. The jury has awarded Alexander Zamyslov, Vladislav Kolesov, Evgeny Aronov (Russia) for
their film KROV’ (BLOOD) ;
Ramune Sakalauskaite (Lithuania) for her film NA PUTI K PRISTANI (ON THE WAY TO THE PIER) Olga Lvova (USA) for her film WHEN PEOPLE DIE THEY SING SONGS Helga Landauer (USA) for her film ARCADIA Sofia Geveiler, Yulia Buvsheva, Sofia Kutcher (Russia) for their film DUH V DVIZHENII (SPIRIT IN MOTION)
Michael Beckelhimer (USA) for his film PUSHKIN IS OUR EVERYTHING. This film was also awarded a medal and a diploma from Pushkin Society.
October 7th in Zinc bar-club was started our new literary season. Every first Wednesday of the month before the jazz concert is gathering the New York literary community, writing in Russian. Legendary trumpeter Valery Ponomarev, an honorary member of the Pushkin Society in America, reopened his doors for creative people - there is not just reading their lyrics and just sing them, turning them under the guidance of the master in jazz composition. The project now has been extended, we organized a cinema and showed a documentary of Eduard Topol Trumpeter from Russia ...
Before watching the film Victoria Kurchenko-Sizova, Rudolf Furman, Elena Gracheva, Tatiana Shchegoleva, Tatiana Sheremeteva read their poems. Literary discussions concerned the preparations for the 90th anniversary of the Naum Korzhavin’s birth, now living in North Carolina - it was decided to send him greetings and held in his honor poetic reading.
October 4th, in the room of the biennial Brooklyn College were awarded the 7th Russian language Olympiad. In this honorable competition take part students from 7 to 18 years who permanently reside in the United States. Olympic school was founded by teacher Alla Markova. Olympiades have become a tradition for many Russian-speaking families from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Maryland. Pushkin Society in America is attended in her work, which annually helps the Jury and award ceremony. In addition to the Russian language, students pass courses in Russian history and culture, geography. This year, Natalia Mizuri, vice president of the Pushkin Society of America \ LIAS handed medals to children and presented gift editions of books on behalf of organization.
September 27th. There was Yury Bunchik’s presentation in the Cultural Center on Bensonhurst in Brooklyn. He just came back from his Russia tour, meeting his readers. Yury Bunchik was born in 1962 in Odessa, Ukraine. He has been living in New York since 1978. In spite of hard times related to his disability, he is writing poems, translating classics of Russian literature into English. His poems and articles about him have been published in literary journals. He authored four poetry collection books and a book of translations of Marina Tsvetaeva’s selected lyrics (Moscow, 2004). Natasha Mizuri was greeting Yuri on behalf of Pushkin Society and wishing him a lot of strength and inspirations.
September 9th. A working meeting with E. K. Bogolyubova took place. The adgenda was study of the Pushkin Society archives, selection of most interesting photographic materials, discussion of urgent problems related to publications from the private archive of her family. We have received photos from 1950ies, clearly representing S. N. Bogolyubov as public figure, one of the leaders of the “Vladimir-city groups”, working closely with the Orthodox youth inside the Russian diaspora. Among the active listeners of Semen Nikolaevich were future Orthodox priests Vladimir Shatilov and Vladimir Shishkov. One of the photos shows a lecture with participation of Arch-Bishop Averkiy, permanent rector of the Svyato-Troitsk Seminary. During S. N. Bogolyubov’s tenure this College was recognized as a part of SUNY.
September 4th. We had a field-trip to R. V. Polchaninov’s place. Mr. Polchaninov is a legendary collectioner, a member of our people’s council. We recorded an interview with him. Rostislav Vladimirovich was a member of the Pskov Orthodox mission during World War II. He told us a story of finding a small bust of Pushkin that was a source of great joy for his wife. R. V. Polchaninov taught at parish schools and in 1944 emigrated to Germany with his family. In 1951, already in the USA, he was a scoutmaster of young Russian “spies”. He worked at a plant in New York, and during 1968-1972 he did weekly broadcasts “Spiritual music of All Times and Nations” on Radio Liberty.
July 26th creative group of the Pushkin Society of America met with the National Writers Union, we have continued dialogue with Timothy Sheard, a great connoisseur and lover of classical Russian literature. It was also decided to enter as a legal entity of the National Union of Writers of America and to give rights of official representative to Tatiana Sheremeteva.
One of the organizers of festival was the Poetry Society of New York, which is
large and well-known organization. One of the activists was Ian Andersen, the poet. He told about the costumed poetry readings organized by the Society, about slam-sessions and experience of open
mike for young poets.
On the poetry readings were taken place not only writable public with guests meetings, but often are held small lectures of popular Composition and Tehnical writing. Here were discussed such topics as how to promote your book, to create podcasts, to distribute texts, by passing the paper publishers and attract attention to
July 25-26th, was held the 5th Poetry Festival in New
York, which takes place on Governors Island, and attracts thousands of visitors. Festival’s organizers were enthusiastic about the idea of the participation of Pushkin Society of America in it.
Executive Director and co-founder Stephanie Berger welcomed our authors, wished us a successful collaboration and gave a detailed interview to the Russian-speaking audience. Aneta Maiman recorded
a conversation with her.
Lisa Marie Basil joined to their conversation, a media manager. Poetry Festival in New York represented all five districts of the city, more
than 200 poets and acted on three stages and local markets, there were presented poetic museums and publishers. A special pride for us was the stand with the Ukrainian children's books: the
Pushkin society has an archive of the Ukrainian emigration. Boris Borukaev, Tatiana Sheremeteva, Sofia Yuzefpolskaya-Tsilosani, Victoria Kurchenko-Sizova read their texts at the
We met with Kait Burreier and Rachel Simm, they invited us to their slam series - Individual Word Poetry Slam, as well as with many interesting talented people. This literary festival is supported by the patriarch of American poetry Bob Holman, here were performed the world-famous authors such as Natalie Eilbert, Joushua Mehigan, Cynthia Cruz.
July 18th, in Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, in Harlem was held the Fair and literary readings. Writer Tatiana Sheremeteva, who joined our work, visited them in order to create future joint projects. Harlem Book Fair - this is event which gathered together in that day a variety of publishers, bookstores and literary creative unions. Here was organized a small stage, and visitors could listen to pieces out of works performed by the authors. Inside the Center was held a seminar Silencing Black Writers in the USA. Great Hall was completely full of people, most – Afro-Americans studying their subculture. It is interesting that Pushkin is known and considered to be a great representative of two cultures - African-American and Russian.
At the microphone black writers replace each other and talk about the history of the struggle against censorship, what was the experience of the way to artistic freedom and opportunity to be heard in their own country. About how were created independent magazines, how there were appeared organizations that defend the rights of African-American authors. This event was prepared also by familiar to us the National Union of Writers of USA. They inscribed another line in the history of multiethnic city, in understanding the author's right to be free in life, in work, in society.
June 24th at Faculty House at CU was held a seminar of Russian community in New York, organized by the Council of Manhattan and Bronx managed by Dmitry Glinsky, with participation of the Pushkin Society of America. At the official opening Jorge Montalvo – new Americans Director of New York State Office performed with welcome remarks from Andrew Cuomo governor. Reports were prepared by experts: Natalia Petrova, Michael Dorfman, Pavel Mamontov, Elizabeth Isenberg, Victoria Kurchenko, Dmitry Glinsky. Here were touched on issues about the education of immigrant children, legal and social problems of former Soviet Union’s residents, relations with American trade unions, anti-war Russian-Ukrainian initiatives and participation of diasporas in Ethnic Day, held at the Presidential Administration of the White House.
Literary program devoted to the 75th anniversary of Joseph Brodsky’s birth and the 80th anniversary of the Pushkin society has made a special atmosphere in holding activities and emphasized the connecting role of culture and art in a wide interethnic dialogue.
May 17th in the Museum of Russian Art in Jersey City (New Jersey State) was an exhibition of artists. Aneta Maiman, a member of the Pushkin society, was one of the participants. Her portrait of the scientist, studied the Torah, was the object of special attention. Christian themes are also close to her creative world - Orthodox icon, emitting flames, clears the space around. Aneta Maiman exhibited her works in Russia, Israel, Europe and the United States; she is not only an artist, but also a poet, psychologist, journalist, author and host of TV and radio programs. Exhibition’s curators. Jane Goldern and Grigory Gurevich. Young musicians were playing the whole evening for the public.
May 10th the first gala concert by Russian–American composer and pianist Vladimir N. Drozdov marked the 80 anniversary of the birth of the Pushkin Society of America. Mr. Drozdov, a co-founder of the Society, has turned his love for the genius of Alexander Pushkin into a serious practical endeavor sustained over many years. Molding this affection into a specific Russian – American cultural affinity has since 1935 involved the efforts of other enthusiasts and co-founders of the Society in the USA, such as Messrs. Boris Brasol, George Grebenshchikoff, Igor Sikorsky, Pitirim Sorokin, Sergey Kusevitsky, and many others.
The event took place at Liederkranz Club, a glorious 19 century mansion at the corner of 5 Avenue and 87 Street in Manhattan, New York. Professor George Borisov, a jury member of international piano competitions in Italy, Australia, and the United States, acted as both a presenter and the program director of the concert.
Ms. Natasha Cherny, a grand-daughter of the composer and pianist Mr. Drozdoff, was a co-organizer of the anniversary gala performance. She has kept an archive of the musical scores of her grandfather's compositions as well as his photographs and all the publications about him. Mr. Boris Borukaev, vice-president of the Pushkin Society of America, has honored Ms. Cherny with a special citation and a commemorative medal.
The list of performers featured several widely recognized piano masters, such as Dr. George Borisov, Marina Strakhovsky, Oksana Mikhailoff and Hanna Golodinski, along with a number of talented young performers – Larisa Grabois, (a member of the Pushkin Society of America) Izabel P. Dobarro, and Sherry Kim.
April 1st, was a presentation of a new book by Tatiana Sheremeteva Gramercy Park and other stories. Years lived in the United States were presented by the author as a variety of interesting stories and characters. Tatiana - a professional philologist, member of American PEN Center, like many others, addressed to the issue of Russian Americans. The author described the narratives’ prototypes devoted to our lives. Also were represented sad and ironic stories from the book Dedicated to silly women, which made the name of T. Sheremeteva popular, and her works in demand. Pushkin Society of America congratulates Tatiana with the release and presentation of a new book.
March 28th, was held the regular meeting of writers at the library in Brooklyn. In the first part a member of the poets’ club, Sergei Evelev, performed with poems and songs and drew to a general approval of listeners. After the break, Mila Petrova told about her visit with Anna Nemerovsky to New York City Hall, where was discussed the report about the future of libraries: their importance has been confirmed by Russian-speaking representatives of the district offices, who made a stand for them. Then was discussed the anonymous collection of poems. The texts were sent in advance by the organizing committee and distributed to those present. Then new verses were recited by Thalman Safarov, Anna Regulyant, Vera Volnyh, Lev Rudsky, Dina Liberman. During musical intermissions Vitaly Buchman performed songs based on poems of Marc Morduhovich, Zinovy Korovin and his own, and Lana Hotimskaya performed songs from neo-realism era films, Buy violets (film The Road) and Women's Song (film The man from the train) in English (translations of Z. Korovin). Club meeting was finished by Natalia Asenkova presented her prose miniatures.
March 4th, took place the presentation of the Ode to jazz dedicated to the poetry in the works of Leonid Utesov, coincided
with its 120th anniversary and the 100th anniversary of the birth of Edith Utesova, the daughter of the maestro. Author and presenter - Edward Amchislavsky, chief editor of the magazine
Compatriots of America, presented unique shots of records from Utesov’s anniversary, his poetry, documents of a bygone era. There were songs and
memories, history of jazz on the background of old Odessa. The Amchislavsky lived in the same apartment where was born the future famous artist. Edward’s father, Boris Amchislavsky personally
knew Utesov, and was a guest at him. Thus began an enthusiasm for the biography of famous Odessites. Boris and Eduard Amchislavsky published jumbo documentary work I was born in Odessa.
The first book issued in 2009 and the second in the day of program presentation – on the 4 of March in 2015, as reported by the publishers on the phone. At the end, as usual, the audience enjoyed a jazz show managed by Valery Ponomarev.
January 24th, on the Eve of “Tatiana’s Day”, the Pushkin Society in America celebrated its 80th Anniversary together with students of Columbia University at the spacious Alfred Lerner Hall on the grounds of Columbia University. This prominent University has played a role in the history of Pushkin Society in America. Pushkin Hall at one time displayed a bust of Aleksander Sergeyevich and there, members of Pushkin Society collaborated with Columbia University on the creation of Pushkin’s literary dictionary. Many works of art were on display at that location as well. The evening included reading of Pushkin’s poetry and congratulatory speeches by Nathaniel Byerly, president of Russian International Association of Columbia University , Dr. Victoriya Kurchenko, President of Pushkin Society in America, Dr. El Earthbourne, Dr. Irina Perelman and others. This was followed by a screening of a documentary short film and a wonderful concert of classical music as well as a reception of traditional Russian delicacies.
Nathaniel Byerly has mentioned that the Russian International Association of CU was founded in 1998 in support of all those interested in Russian language and culture. Young professional performers of the events’ concert received a warm welcome and were cheered by the celebration’s attendees, among which were many of our society’s distinguished guests.
Larissa Grabois, a soprano and a native of NJ of Russian heritage, has been a member of Pushkin Society in America since 2013. She has represented Pushkin Society singing Russian classical Romances at various venues in NYC and NJ. She began the concert with a famous Romance with lyrics by Pushkin called “I Recall That Wonderous Moment”. The concert also featured Abram Korsunsky on piano and Eric D’Arcy on clarinet.