Red carpet for the queen of Russian poets

Olga Tabachnikova
Olga Tabachnikova
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Royalty has come to Preston.

University of Central Lancashire academic Olga Tabachnikova is celebrating after being officially awarded the title of ‘Queen of Russian Poetry’.

Dr Olga, a British poet with Russian roots, received the international prize at the Pushkin in Britain 2015 Festival after winning a competition for poets based abroad.

She was one of 10 authors from six countries who made it to the final.

The event was part of the 13th annual international festival of Russian poetry, hosted in London, by the Russian Embassy in the UK to mark the anniversary of the famous writer’s birth on June 6 1799.

This is especially significant as 2015 is the Year of Literature in Russia.

Olga, a Russian studies lecturer, has been writing poetry since she was a child and has had two of her books published.

She said: “ “I am very pleased to be distinguished in this way.

“It’s very important for any person who writes, especially poetry – which is a very individual, even alienating activity – to have their work recognised.

“These are high moments, even though for an artist the real triumph is a creative process itself.

“But such poetic awards are also, if you like, an expression of faith, which at the same time increases your feeling of responsibility.

“So it is simultaneously a rewarding and demanding happening.”

Festival founder Oleg Borushko, who was head of the jury, presented Dr Tabachnikova with her award. He said she deserved the accolade “queen of poets.”

Besides the title and a crown, she has also been officially invited to Russia for the annual literary celebrations, held at the end of May 2016, on Alexander Pushkin’s Boldino estate, near Moscow.

An evening of her poetry will take place and a book of her poetry will also be published by the Library of Foreign Literature in Moscow.

Olga is in the throes of producing a bilingual anthology of World War One poetry which will be published in the UK.

Following her international success she was approached by the director of the Russian Library of Foreign Literature who wants to republish the book in Russia.

This follows her recent monograph ‘Russian Irrationalism from Pushkin to Brodsky. Seven Essays in Literature and Thought’.