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Guide to the Yevgeny Yevtushenko Papers, ca. 1920-1999ca. 1945-1997
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Access Terms
  • Items transferred to the Rare Book Division

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Yevtushenko, Yevgeny Aleksandrovich, 1933-. Papers,
    Date (inclusive): ca. 1920-1999
    Date (bulk): ca. 1945-1997
    Collection number: M1088
    Creator: Yevtushenko, Yevgeny Aleksandrovich, 1933-
    Extent: 67.5 linear ft.
    Repository: Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information

    Access Restrictions

    Correspondence from Bella Akhmadulina is restricted until her death.
    Access to clippings series is limited; the clippings have not been rehoused. Please see Manuscripts Processing Librarian re: access to these items.
    Access to remainder of collection unrestricted.

    Publication Rights

    Property rights reside with the repository. Literary rights reside with the creators of the documents or their heirs. To obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Public Services Librarian of the Dept. of Special Collections.


    Purchased, 1999.

    Preferred Citation:

    Yevgeny Yevtushenko Papers. M1088. Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.


    Yevgeny Aleksandrovich Yevtushenko was born on June 18, 1933 in Zima Junction, Siberia. His father, Aleksandr Gangnus, was a geologist who wrote poetry and taught Yevtushenko to love books. His mother, Zinaida Ermolayevna Yevtushenko, was a geologist and a singer. Both of Yevtushenko's grandfathers were victims of Stalin's purges in the late thirties.
    After Yevtushenko's parents separated, he went to Moscow with his mother, whose surname he adopted. In the early years of World War II, Yevtushenko and many other children in Moscow were evacuated to Siberia. He returned to Moscow in 1944. After being expelled from school at the age of 15, Yevtushenko briefly joined his father on a geological expedition in Kazakhstan.
    Yevtushenko's literary career took off in 1949 with the publication of his first poem in the journal Sovetskii Sport (Soviet Sport). His first book of poetry was published in 1952. He became the youngest member of the Soviet Writer's Union and was admitted to Moscow's Literary Institute, which was highly unusual for someone without a school certificate. However, he eventually left the Literary Institute without graduating.
    Stalin's death in 1953 had a tremendous impact on Yevtushenko and his poetry. He witnessed the crowd that resulted in the trampling death of 150 mourners gathered in Moscow's Trubnaia Square. Yevtushenko's shock translated into disillusionment with Stalin and an appreciation for the importance of greater individual responsibility. His subsequent poetry was less conformist, largely anti-Stalinist, and blended public and private themes. Yevtushenko became the most visible of a generation of young, post-Stalinist poets that included Andrei Voznesenskii and Bella Akhmadulina. They revived the Russian tradition of popular poetry readings, attracting tens of thousands of fans to readings in sports stadiums and public squares.
    In 1961 Yevtushenko wrote perhaps his best-known work, "Babii Iar." Babii Iar is a ravine in the suburbs of Kiev where tens of thousands of Russian Jews and others were slaughtered by the Nazis during World War II. In his poem Yevtushenko noted the absence of a monument to these victims of Nazism and attributed this fact to Russian anti-Semitism. The poem was immensely popular in the Soviet Union, and the Soviet composer Shostakovich developed his Thirteenth Symphony around it and other poems by Yevtushenko. Despite the popularity of "Babii Iar," Yevtushenko was not allowed to give a public reading of the poem in Ukraine until the 1980s.
    Yevtushenko's favor with the Soviet government fluctuated. As a result of his defense of Dudintsev's critical novel Not by Bread Alone, Yevtushenko was expelled from the Literary Institute and the Communist Party's youth organization in 1957. He was reinstated under Khrushchev's thaw and given permission to travel and read his verse abroad, where he had gained wide acclaim. He gave poetry readings throughout Eastern and Western Europe, the United States, Cuba, Africa, and Australia. However, after Yevtushenko published his uncensored autobiography in France in 1963, the Soviet government curtailed his public readings and revoked his travel privileges until 1966.
    Yevtushenko enjoyed mixed support among Soviet writers and dissidents. Many criticized him for collaborating with the state, largely because he managed to stay out of prison, psychiatric hospitals, and labor camps. However, on numerous occasions Yevtushenko defended fellow writers, including Solzhenitsyn.
    In the seventies Yevtushenko ventured into other art forms. He produced a play entitled Pod kozhei statui svobody (Under the Skin of the Statue of Liberty) in 1972 and published his first novel, Iagodnye Mesta (Wild Berries), in 1981. He played the leading role in Savva Kulish's 1979 movie Vzlet (Takeoff). He also turned to photography, publishing three books of photographs and exhibiting his work around the world. Yevtushenko wrote and directed two films, Detskii Sad (Kindergarten) and Pokhorony Stalina (Stalin's Funeral).
    With the coming of Gorbachev, Yevtushenko became a prominent spokesperson for glasnost. In 1988 he helped establish the Memorial Society with Sakharov to honor the victims of Stalinist repression. In 1989 he was elected to the Congress of People's Deputies in Kharkov, Ukraine. During the 1991 August coup, Yevtushenko joined Yeltsin in the defense of the White House, reciting his hastily written poem "August 19th."
    Yevtushenko was elected an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1987. He has published over 40 books of poetry and his work has been translated into 72 languages. Yevtushenko has been married to the poet Bella Akhmadulina, to literary translator Galina Semyonovna Sokol, with whom he has one son, and to British translator Jan Butler, with whom he has two sons. He currently lives with his fourth wife, Maria Novikova, and two youngest sons in Moscow and Oklahoma. Yevtushenko teaches at the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma and at Queens College in New York.
    Note: this biographical sketch draws heavily on the biography of Yevtushenko published in the 1994 Current Biography Yearbook.

    Scope and Content

    The Yevtushenko Papers include personal and professional papers of Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko. Although not complete, the collection provides substantial material on Yevtushenko's personal and literary career, which cannot be separated from the political context of the time.
    The papers were received in very little order. Where materials were identified and categorized by Yevtushenko, that arrangement has been preserved and expanded to include uncategorized portions of the collection. The collection consists of nine series: 1. Correspondence, 2. Political Papers, 3. Manuscripts, 4. Manuscripts by Others, 5. Performances and Exhibits, 6. Personal Papers, 7. Photographs, 8. Audiovisual Materials, and 9. Clippings. The collection also includes books by Yevtushenko and books from his library, many with inscriptions to Yevtushenko from the authors.
    Names and titles have been transliterated according to the simplified American Library of Congress standard. Exceptions include those names for which a standard exists; for example, Yevtushenko is used rather than Evtushenko, and Yeltsin instead of El'tsyn.

    Access Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Adamovich, G.
    Dutton, G.
    Ginsberg, Allen.
    Salisbury, Harrison.
    Shostakovich, D.
    Todd, Albert.
    Tselkov, O.
    Winters, Paul.
    Russian literature--20th century.
    Russian poetry.

    Items transferred to the Rare Book Division

    Published books and periodicals have been transferred from the collection to the Rare Book Division where they are being individually cataloged and identified as part of this collection.
    A complete list of these items is listed below.
    • Title: Alcalay, Ammiel, The Cairo Notebooks, Singing Horse Press
      Date: 1993
    • Title: Ball, Angela. Quartet. Carnegie Mellow University Press
      Date: 1995
    • Title: Bashevis Singer, Isaac. Reaches of Heaven. Farrar-Straus-Giroux
      Date: 1980
    • Title: Brutus, Dennis. Still the Sirens. Pennywhistle Press
      Date: 1993
    • Title: Camner, Howard. Bed of Nails. Camelot Publishing Co.
      Date: 1995
    • Title: Codrescu, Andrei. The Disappearance of the Outside. Addison-Wesley Publishing, Inc.
      Date: 1990
    • Title: Collection of Works by and About Alexander Pushkin. Queens College
      Date: 1999
    • Title: Cornillot, Francois. Le Nautonier de la Supreme Nostalgie. Editions Librarie du Globe
      Date: 1995
    • Title: Dementiev, Andrei. Sneg v Ierusalime. Imprint-Golfarim
      Date: 1993
    • Title: Dingman Watson, Nancy. Bluberries Lavender. Addison-Wesley
      Date: 1977
    • Title: Dorfman, Ariel. La Muerte y la Doncella. Ollero & Ramos Editores
      Date: 1995
    • Title: Ferguson, Marilyn. The Aquarian Conspiracy. J.P. Tarcher, Inc.
      Date: 1980
    • Title: Flynn, Tony. Body Politic. Bloodaxe Books
      Date: 1992
    • Title: Gertsman, Valentin l. Houston: Image and Imagination [exhibit catalog]
      Date: 1991
    • Title: Havel, Vaclav. Open Letters. Faber & Faber
      Date: 1991
    • Title: Hazo, Samuel. The Past Won't Stay Behind You. University of Arkansas Press
      Date: 1993
    • Title: Higginbotham, Jay. Old Mobile. Museum of the City of Mobile
      Date: 1977
    • Title: Iswolsky, Helene. No Time to Grieve. The Winchell Company
      Date: 1985
    • Title: Keeney, Patricia. Selected Poems of Paricia Keeney, with introduction by Yevgeny Yevtushenko. Oberon Press
      Date: 1996
    • Title: Klemm, Barbara. Blick nach Osten. Fischer Verlag
      Date: 1995
    • Title: Legge, Ludwig. Untermorgen Ubergestern. Truutvetter & Fischernacht
      Date: 1979
    • Title: Lodge, Kristen. Sword Become Words.
    • Title: Lown, Bernard, M.D. The Lost Art of Healing. Ballantine Books
      Date: 1990
    • Title: Nekhoroshev, Yuri. Yevgenii Yevtushenko: Bibliograficheskii Ukazat'el. Chelyabinskii Pedinstitut
      Date: 1981
    • Title: Ortiz Hill, Michael. Dreaming the End of the World. Spring Publication
      Date: 1994
    • Title: Oz, Amos. Panther in the Basement. Harcourt Brace and Company
      Date: 1998
    • Title: Peonides, Panos. Eva Allo Oboiporiko. Lemesos
      Date: 1995
    • Title: Phillips, Michael J. Selected Love Poems. Hackett Publishing Co.
      Date: 1980
    • Title: Pollastri, Georgia. Ciclo. Grafiche Biesse
      Date: 1995
    • Title: Porter, Dorothy. The Monkey's Mask. Hyland House
      Date: 1994
    • Title: Pulco, Carlo. Pittura Poesia. Italo-Latino Americana Palma Editrice
      Date: 1991
    • Title: Pusche, Alk. Die Evtusenko-Vertonungen von Dmitrij Sostakovic.
    • Title: Rain Crowe, Thomas. The Personified Street. New Native Press
      Date: 1993
    • Title: Rebolledo, Francisco. Rasero. Louisiana State University Press
      Date: 1995
    • Title: Saludos! Poemas de Nuevo Mexico. Pennywhistle Press
      Date: 1995
    • Title: Schmidt-Macon, Klaus F. Aschenspur. Fotokunst-Verlag Groh
      Date: 1998
    • Title: Schramm, Godehard. Grutz der Spatz als Papagei. Spatlese Verlag
      Date: 1985
    • Title: Scott, Cyril. The Initiate. Samuel Weiser, Inc.
      Date: 1988
    • Title: Stonov, Dmitri. In the Past Night. Texas Tech University Press
      Date: 1995
    • Title: 10 Anni di Poesia. Grafic House Editrice
      Date: 1995
    • Title: Vetrov, Boris. Ulibaites' , gospoda!. Liberty Publishing House, Inc.
      Date: 1998
    • Title: Yevtushenko, Yevgeny. Izbrannaya proza. Eksmo-press
      Date: 1998
    • Title: Jewtuschenko, Jewgeni. Der Wolfspass. Verlag Volk und Welt
      Date: 2000
    • Title: Zagato, Franco. Che ne sai, povero poeta? Pellicanolibri,
      Date: 1992
    • Title: CD The City of No and the City of Yes. Yevgeny Yevtushenko with Paul Winter Consort
    • Title: CD So mnoyu vot chto proiskhodit. Nikitini, Tatyana i Sergei; lirics by Yevtushenko
    • Title: CD So mnoyu vot chto proiskhodit. Nikitini, Tatyana i Sergei; lirics by Yevtushenko