Andrei Sen-Senkov (center) speaks with Dana Gioia, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, as Masha Pyshkina of CEC ArtsLink interprets.


Program Bio
September 2007: UNC-Chapel Hill and Washington DC
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Andrei Sen-Senkov is a poet, prose writer, and photographer. He is the author of five books of poetry, prose and "visual poems". He is a regular participant in Moscow literary festivals, performing free verse and short prose. In 1998 he was an award-winner at the Turgenev Festival for Short Prose, and in 2006 he was short-listed for the Andrei Bely Award.

In the his own words:

I was born in 1968 in Tajikistan. I have a strange family, prone to global migration. My mother was born in Abkhazia (a region in the Caucasus), and my father, in Kirghizstan. My mother’s parents came from the Ural Mountains. My father’s parents were from Belarus. My great-great-grandfather was French. How he ended up in Russia—-this is a riddle that I will never solve.

As a child in the village of Kansai – a little town in Tajikistan built by the Japanese after World War II (incidentally, Haruki Murakami was also born in Kansai... the original Kansai, in Japan, that is) – I went to school, listened to underground rock music, and read books. Then, not knowing what I wanted to do next, I applied to the Medical Institute for a single reason: my mother really wanted me to become a doctor. And so I became one. Before this, I had managed to complete my military service in the air force.

At 17, I began to write. At 23, I stopped being shy about sharing my work. At 27, my first book came out. Then a second, and a third… Now the sixth is coming out, though I have yet to see it. Soon my son will be 16 years old. We like similar music. But our tastes in literature and film are completely different...

I love coffee, cigarettes with white filters, Charles Bukowski, cats, Johnnie Depp, Jack Daniels, and Lou Reed…

Career Updates

  • Sen-Senkov was again shortlisted for the "Andrei Bely" Award in 2008, this time for The Spiky Basketball. Read more about the nomination in Russian.