Alexei Tsvetkov. Photo: Dmitry Kuzmin
   Alexei Tsvetkov
      Photo: Dmitry Kuzmin

Alexei Tsvetkov grew up in Zaporizhia and briefly studied chemistry at the Odessa University, then history (1965-1968) and journalism (1971-1974) at the Moscow State University. Together with Sergey Gandlevsky, Bakhyt Kenjeev, and Alexander Soprovsky he founded the unofficial group of poets Moscow Time. In 1975 he was arrested and deported from Moscow and in the same year emigrated to the United States. He edited the emigre newspaper Russkaya Zhizn (San Francisco, 1976-77). Then he entered the University of Michigan graduate school and in 1983 was awarded a PhD degree. Tsvetkov taught Russian language and literature at Dickinson College, Pennsylvania, then worked as an international broadcaster at the Voice of America radio station. From 1989 until 2007 he worked in the same capacity at the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, first in Munich, later in Prague. Currently he is a freelance writer based in New York City.
In the late 80s he stopped writing poetry and turned to prose. The unfinished novel Just a Voice, an autobiography of a fictitious Roman soldier (only the adolescence is covered) reflects Tsvetkov's idea of the Roman civilization as one of the summits in the history of the humanity. Alexei Tsvetkov has been considered one of the finest poets of his generation by such critics as A. Skvortsov, A. Lehrman, G. Smith, A. Zorin and poets Andrey Voznesensky, Sergey Gandlevsky, and Mikhail Aizenberg.
In 2004, after a 17 year break, Tsvetkov turned back to poetry and within a year and a half prepared a new book of poetry. Alexei Tsvetkov also writes and publishes poetry and essays in English. In 2007 he was awarded Andrei Bely prize for poetry.

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