Book Presentation: Green Desert: The Life and Poetry of Olzhas Suleimenov

Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Room 1501, International Affairs Building

Please join the Harriman Institute for a book presentation by Olzhas Suleimenov.

Green Desert: the Life and Poetry of Olzhas Suleimenov is the first comprehensive translation of Olzhas Suleimenov's poetry into English, which provides a concise overview of the poet’s rich literary heritage and serves as an introduction to contemporary literature of Kazakhstan and Eurasia. Mr. Sulemeinov, whom Russian poet Andrei Voznesensky once aptly called "Asia at the Steering Wheel", has emerged as one of Kazakhstan and Central Asia's most influential intellectuals, authors and poets of the last half century. Since 1991, Mr. Sulemeinov has proven to be one of the most outspoken members of the post-independence Kazakh intelligentsia, as he has promoted and enjoined his admirers to embrace globalization, liberal democratic values, a moderate all-inclusive 'civil nationalism', and a balanced approach to building positive relations with West and East alike. He has authored more than sixteen books of poetry and prose. His polemical novel Az-i-Ia (1975) brought him both wide recognition in his native land and problems with the Soviet authorities.

Olzhas Sulemeinov is also well-known for his active public life. He founded the Nevada-Semipalatinsk Movement (1989), which became one of the most vocal voices for the closure of all nuclear testing facilities in Kazakhstan. He also co-founded the Issyk Kul Forum, which has been recognized as an important organization of intellectuals in the former Soviet Union. Currently he serves as the Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan to UNESCO.

While discussing his book, Mr. Sulemeinov will share with us his candid thoughts about recent developments in the literary world in Kazakhstan and Eurasia. He will be also pleased to answer questions from the audience. 

The speaker will be introduced by and the event will be moderated by Professor Alan Timberlake, Director of the East Central European Center.

Registration is encouraged.
Please register here.