Aleksandr Skidan's English-language collection of poems and essays, Red Shifting, (translated by Genya Turovskaya and Eugene Ostashevsky)


Program Bio
April 2006: University of Mississippi Oxford and The PEN American Center, New York
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Aleksandr Skidan is a poet, literary critic, translator. Born in Leningrad in 1965, he continues to live in St. Petersburg and works as a journalist for the city cultural magazine Krasny 100%(Red 100%). Skidan is known for collaboration with artists and social activists. He also runs a translation workshop in the American program Summer Literary Seminars in Saint-Petersburg and serves on the selection committee for the "Andrei Beliy" Award.

Author of several books of poetry and literary criticism, including Delirium, published in 1993, A Critical Mass in 1995, In the Re-reading in 1998, and The Resistance to/of Poetry in 2001. He is also author to several anthologies, such as Poesie (Marseille, 1993), Crossing Centuries (USA, 2000), and La Nuova Poesia Russa (Italy, 2003). Contributor to many magazines and literary journals. His poems are translated into English, Estonian, Finnish, French, Hebrew, Italian and Swedish.

Skidan has translated several books and short stories, including Next to Nothing by Paul Bowles and The World Is Round by Gertrude Stein. He has also translated the work of contemporary American poets Charles Olson, Susan Howe, Eileen Myles (published in the Anthology of American Contemporary Poetry in 1996), Michael Palmer, Kathy Acker and others. Skidan's translation of Kali by Martin Enkell (co-translated with Viktor Krivulin) received the "Tsarskoselskiy" Literary Award for the best translation of the year in 1997.

In 1997, Skidan’s book A Critical Mass was nominated for the "Small Booker" Prize. In 1998, he received the "Turgenev" Award for short prose. In 1994, he was selected to participate in the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa.

Career Updates

  • Red Shifting -- the first major English-language collection of Aleksander Skidan’s poetry and essays, translated by award-winning poets and translators Genya Turovskaya and Eugene Ostashevsky-- was released through Zephyr Press in 2007.

  • Links
  • Information about Shto delat? (What to do?)-- a creative collective focused on art, theory, and activism, of which Skidan is an editor, can be found in Documenta Magazine and the Shto delat website.
  • See Skidan's page on (in Russian).
  • Aleksandr Skidan reads at the "Context" poetry reading series (St. Petersburg, Russia) - Dec. 13, 2009. from chto delat on Vimeo.

    Aleksandr Skidan reads at the SlovoNova poetry festival (Perm, Russia) - Dec. 19, 2009. from chto delat on Vimeo.