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Yevtushenko awarded Chinese prize for poetry

University of Tulsa Distinguished Professor Yevgeny Yevtushenko has received the Zhongkun International Poetry Prize, one of China’s most prestigious literary awards. The biannual accolade is distributed by Peking University Institute of Poetry Studies and sponsored by Zhongkun Poetry Development Foundation. Recipients are chosen for their pursuits of literary and poetic features, humanistic feelings emphasizing love and the critical spirit of realistic concern.

Yevtushenko is one of the most famous living poets in the world who became a Russian literary sensation in his teens. He is known for controversial works supporting freedom of political expression and opposing the Soviet Union’s attempts to suppress literature.

“Many of my poems were attacked by government bureaucrats, and some were not published for many years yet still could be found walking from hand to hand in manuscript form. Now, all of them are called classic poems,” he said.

Yevtushenko’s public readings in America and worldwide have attracted thousands, and his poems have been translated into more than 70 languages. As an actor, director and screenwriter, he contributed to several Soviet film projects.

Yevtushenko has served on TU’s Department of English faculty for the past 20 years and currently lectures on Russian and European cinema and Russian literature.