SLOVO Russian Literature Festival 2016

15 – 24 April 2016
London, Waterstones Piccadilly
SLOVO returns to London for the 7th year running. SLOVO is an open-minded, independent festival of contemporary Russian literature and thinking. The theme of this year’s festival is Memories of the Future – Воспоминания о будущем. We invite you to join our array of inspirational speakers to discuss Russia today and its future. See SLOVO programme >>

SLOVO 2014

Olga Sedakova, winner of the Dante Aligheiri Prize and the Alexander Solzhenitsyn Prize among others, will talk about her great teachers and friends, Sergei Averintsev, Venichka Erofeev, Mikhail Gasparov, Joseph Brodsky and others, intellectual pillars of the Soviet intelligentsia. She will of course also read some of her own inspiring and highly original poetry.

Russky London Nights at Waterstones

Rocking the USSR
10th December, 6.30pm
Waterstones, Piccadilly, London, UK
The story of the heroic time of Soviet rock - told by a BBC cultural observer Alexander Kan.

The Prime Russian Magazine - now in London!

The magazine has been successfully published in Russia for four years. Starting from November 2013 it will be available from Waterstones Piccadilly in London and by subscription
19 November 2013, 6.30 pm
Waterstones, Piccadilly, London, UK

The Prime Russian Magazine

We are pleased to invite you to the presentation of The Prime Russian Magazine which will take place at 6.30 p.m. on November 19 at Waterstones, Piccadilly. The magazine has been successfully published in Russia for four years. Starting from November 2013 it will be available from Waterstones Piccadilly in London and by subscription. The presentation will host a panel discussion on Marx & Freedom. Marxism was the main subject of one of The PRM’s special issues. The list of panellists includes Maxim Semelyak, Lev Danilkin, Alexsandr Pantsov and Aleksey Tzvetkov. They will discuss Karl Marx, his legacy and the Marxist approach to the concept of Freedom using the example of Soviet and, more broadly, modern Russian Marxism. It should be noted that over the last few years Marxism has been the subject of growing interest in the country where it dominated, perhaps unsuccessfully, the political landscape for more than half a century. Is this renewed interest a case of mass masochism, a passing fashion or a vital need? Why is Marxism, seemingly rejected and forgotten by Russians in the 1990s, becoming popular in today’s Russia? Perhaps Aleksey Tzvetkov's article on Evald Ilyenkov, published in The PRM special issue on Marxism, can provide some answers. The author dwells on the nature of Soviet Marxism by telling the personal story of a Marxist philosopher. Maxim Semelyak Maxim Semelyak is a journalist and The PRM’s Editor-in-Chief. After graduating from Moscow State University with a degree in Philosophy he has worked with a number of Russian print publications, including Afisha, Vedomosti, Playboy Russia and Vremya Novostey (News Time). At the turn of the century he was one of the leading music critics in Russia. He wrote the history of the Russian ska punk band — «Leningrad» — and launched The Forbes Kazakhstan magazine. Lev Danilkin Lev Danilkin is a journalist and The PRM’s Deputy Editor-in-Chief. He is one of the best Russian literary critics and the author of two biographies: «Man with an Egg» (about Alexander Prokhanov — a Russian journalist and writer) and «Yuri Gagarin». He translated Julian Barnes’ «Letters from London» into Russian. Lev Danilkin graduated from Moscow State University with a degree in Philology. He has written literary reviews for Vedomosti and Afisha. Aleksey Tzvetkov Aleksey Tzvetkov is a Marxist philosopher, a public figure, one of the founders of Falanster Bookshop, and a winner of the Nonconformism Award. He is the author of several books: «Urban Guerrilla’s Diary» (Дневник городского партизана), «Destroy After Reading» (После прочтения уничтожить) and «Pop Marxism» (Поп-марксизм). Alexsandr Pantsov Russian-American sinologist, historian, writer and translator. A doctor of historical sciences and professor at Capital University, Ohio. He is the author of more than one hundred academic papers and his works include the world's most comprehensive biographies of Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaopong, both of which were based on his own original research and subsequently published in the series “Lives of Remarkable People”. In the edition of Prime Russian Magazine dedicated to Marxism, he wrote an essay on the genesis of different forms of Marxism implemented in modern China within the context of supermarkets. The Prime Russian Magazine The magazine highlights ideas that have the potential to influence the future of mankind. It addresses a broad range of topics, touching on philosophy, sociology, the history of culture, religion, psychology and geography. Normally, each issue covers one major topic: progress, education, war, America, laughter, miracle, memory, the post-human, the child and reading to name just a few. The list of authors includes writers, scientists, philosophers, poets and translators. Emphasis is placed on expert opinion rather than journalism as such; and the editors would rather choose a passage from a book than a critical review. Over the years the magazine has published the works of Julian Barnes, Ian McEwen, Sergey Kapitza, Slavoj Žižek, Jacques Attali, Franco Berardi, Hassim Taleb, Derek Walcott, Pyotr Shchedrovitsky, Robert Kaplan, Terry Eagleton, Vladimir Mikushevich, Georgy Mirsky, Olga Sedakova, Paul Bogard, Maxim Kantor, Douglas Copeland, Dominic Lieven, Yuri Mamleev, Alexander Ilichevsky, Boris Kupriyanov, Harm de Blij, and many more. RSVP is essential. Please reply to For more information please contact Academia Rossica on press@academia-rossica.orgor call us on 0207 287 2614, 0207 287 5712

Brodsky in Britain, and Britain in Brodsky

Join us for ‘Brodsky in Britain, and Britain in Brodsky’, the first in a series of monthly Academia Rossica and RusskyLondon events at Waterstones
Tue 08 October 2013 - 6.30pm

The launch of the first Waterstones Russian Book of the Month.

Gaito Gazdanov’s ‘The Spectre of Alexander Wolf’ is a startling blend of existential mystery and an enthralling avant-garde treatise on life and death
Waterstones Piccadilly
Wednesday, 14 August 2013, 6:30 PM


Founded in 1841, The London Library is the UK's leading literary institution. With more than one million books and periodicals in over 50 languages, the collection includes works from the 16th century to the latest publications in print and electronic form.

Winners of the Rossica Translation Prize and the Rossica Young Translation Award announced

Many congratulations to John Elsworth, who has won the Rossica Translation Award 2012 for his translation of Petersburg by Andrei Bely. The winner of the Rossica Young Translators Award is Gregory Afinogenov for his translation of an extract from S.N.U.F.F by Victor Pelevin.

Русский магазин в Waterstones Picсadilly

3 марта 2012 состоялось открытие Русского книжного магазина в Waterstones Piccadilly
В рамках празднований открытия нового магазина известный поэт и журналист, Дмитирий Быков, провел свою автограф-сессию.

The Russian Bookshop at Waterstones opens!

3 March 2012, Waterstones Piccadilly
The Russian Bookshop at Waterstones opens officially on Saturday at 9am. Renowned poet and journalist Dmitry Bykov will be signing copies of his latest book ‘Citizen Poet’ to celebrate the opening.

«Слова» в сердце Лондона!

Waterstones открывают русский книжный магазин в одном из крупнейших подразделений своей сети в Лондоне.

SLOVO festival 2010

SLOVO Russian Literature Festival 19 - 25 April 2010 London and other UK cities Russian Literature Week is back for the third time, held in the same week as the London Book Fair. The aim is to highlight Russian writers and publishers, both in London and on an international scale. This year's SLOVO will also showcase the new generation of writers, exciting new poets and the fascinating culture scene of today's Russia.

Is Tolstoy Alive?

Come to hear Vladimir Tolstoy, great great grandson of Leo Tolstoy, in conversation with acclaimed writer James Meek.
Monday 19 April, 6.30pm at Waterstones Piccadilly

Press Release

On 19 – 25 April ACADEMIA ROSSICA will bring you SLOVO, the Russian Literature Festival that knows no boundaries. Packed with a kaleidoscope of genre-defying events, SLOVO will offer a unique insight into Russian literary culture, presenting not only the foremost contemporary Russian writers and highly opinionated public figures, such as Dmitry Bykov, Sergei Lukyanenko, Olga Slavnikova, Maria Galina and Vladimir Sharov, but also cutting edge young writers and poets from right across Russia’s eleven time zones. This year’s festival sees a particular focus on fantasy and magical realism. Lukyanenko’s 'Night Watch' series clearly comes under this genre, but ‘Living Souls’ by Dmitry Bykov,‘2017’ by Olga Slavnikova and ‘Iramifications’ by Maria Galina, all newly published in English, have also been influenced by this notable undercurrent of Russian writing. Our authors will present their new books in light of this genre, which has its roots in the 19th and 20th century literary greats, Gogol, Bulgakov, Zamyatin and Platonov, while Lev Danilkin, literary critic and ‘Afisha’ columnist will explore why Russian literature has a tendency to look at reality through a prism of the unreal. In addition to events with established authors, SLOVO will introduce Russia’s newest literary voices. Olga Slavnikova, herself an award-winning writer, is the coordinator of Russia’s prestigious Debut prize for young writers and will present six Debut prize winners at this year’s festival, including three of Russian literature’s rising stars, Polina Klyukina from Perm, Alisa Ganieva from Dagestan and Alexander Gritsenko from Astrakhan. Key to this festival is the belief that literature can act as an instrument of social and political change and can help to bring two cultures together. For this reason SLOVO will coincide with the London Book Fair, where ties between the Russian and British publishing industry have already been strengthened by naming Russia Guest of Honour and Market Focus of the London Book Fair 2011. SLOVO will continue in this spirit with unique collaborative events between Russian and British poets, as well as providing numerous opportunities for cross-cultural discussions. Indeed, as the slogan ‘WORDS IN ACTION’ may suggest, SLOVO is not just about the written word. Film also plays an important part in this year’s festival. SLOVO will hold the first ever screening of Russian underground video poetry in the UK and the London premiere of Aliona Van der Horst’s hauntingly beautiful film on poet Boris Ryzhy. SLOVO’s broad spectrum of events will be held across several venues, Waterstones Piccadilly, Waterstones Hampstead, The Calvert 22 Gallery and the Apollo cinema. Come and join us for this un-missable chance to witness literature in transition!

Is Tolstoy Alive?

Is Tolstoy Alive? Vladimir Tolstoy in conversation with James Meek Monday 19 April, 6.30pm at Waterstones Piccadilly* Vladimir Tolstoy is the great great grandson of one of the biggest Russian writers – Leo Tolstoy. Since 1994 he has been the director of the Leo Tolstoy museum in Yasnaya Polyana. Vladimir is often seen as the official representative of Leo Tolstoy’s cultural heritage. In 2001 he made a famous appeal to the Russian Orthodox Church, petitioning the repeal of the excommunication of his famous ancestor – a historical event that in Vladimir Tolstoy’s view turned out to have a fatal effect on the whole of Russian society. Under Vladimir Tolstoy’s guidance Yasnaya Polyana has been set up not only as a museum documenting Leo Tolstoy’s life and literary work, but also as a place to keep the spirit of the great writer alive. Writers and intellectuals are regularly invited to take part in seminars and discuss the fundamental questions of life that for the great Russian writer were of such high importance. The museum also runs its own publishing house and offers translation grants to support new translations of Leo Tolstoy’s books. James Meek is a writer, critic and reporter living in London. He is the author of four novels and two collections of short stories. Between 1991 and 1999 he lived in Ukraine and Russia, where his 2005 novel The People's Act of Love was set. In 1994 he visited Vladimir Tolstoy at the ancestral Tolstoy estate in Yasnaya Polyana. His most recent book, We Are Now Beginning Our Descent, was awarded the Prince Maurice Prize. * Tickets to this event are £3, redeemable against purchase of any book. Call Waterstones Piccadilly on 020 7851 2400 to book tickets in advance


The Debut Prize was instituted in 2000 by State Duma Deputy Andrei Skoch, creator of the humanitarian foundation Pokolenie (Generation). Skoch originally conceived of Pokolenie as a medical charity to help provincial Russian clinics, sick children and pensioners. The Debut, Pokolenie’s only cultural project to date, has become a prize of national renown. The Debut has a strict age limit: entrants may not be over the age of 25. Members of the Russian literary establishment were skeptical at first. They doubted that writers so young would have something to say to readers. Young writers might try their hand at poetry, they argued, but they didn’t have enough life experience to write a story or a novel. However, the Debut has shown that a person’s life experience at any age is complete in and of itself. What a person knows about the world at 20 has been forgotten by the time he is 30. What he could have written at 20 he will no longer write at 30. He will write something else. Strangely enough, most writers live without their first book: it remains in their minds, in drafts. The Debut inspires young Russian writers to complete that first book. The Debut prompts them to commit to literature their unique experience, what might be described as the shock of their first encounter with grown-up life. Not just their new existential status, but daily events. Suddenly a person is faced with bank applications, having to pay rent and buy insurance; no one will fill out the forms for him, no one will answer for him. And he suddenly feels horribly alone in the world. This sort of loneliness, like any other, has a huge creative potential. The Debut brings in the first literary harvest of the writing generation — and it does so every year. 2010 marks the first year of Debut’s international program. Funded by Pokolenie, the program aims to present the works of Debut finalists and winners to the foreign reader. Collections of these works will be translated and their authors will be sent to international book fairs and festivals. This year’s collection appears in English and Chinese. Future collections will be brought out in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, and so on. Since the number of Debut finalists and winners is only increasing, as is their level and mastery, publication of their works in English will continue.

SLOVO 2012

SLOVO Russian Literature Festival 19 - 25 April 2010 London and other UK cities Russian Literature Week is back for the third time, held in the same week as the London Book Fair. The aim is to highlight Russian writers and publishers, both in London and on an international scale. This year's SLOVO will also showcase the new generation of writers, exciting new poets and the fascinating culture scene of today's Russia.

День первый

Первый день завершился вечером Дмитрия Быкова в книжном магазине Waterstones. В числе прочего Быков развлек многочисленную публику анекдотом. Анекдот такой: «При рождении нам надевают бирку на руку, после смерти – на ногу. Если у кого совпадет номер, приз – скороварка». Кажется, даже те из гостей, которым приходилось пользоваться переводом, уловили юмор. Ведь раз они вообще пришли в Waterstones на выступление российского писателя, то уже знали, что нашу отечественную литературу тоже можно сравнить с пресловутой «скороваркой», это тот «драгоценный» приз, который мы получаем уже по факту рождения.
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