Akhmadulina, Bella

Akhmadulina, Bella (Izabella Akhatovna Akhmadulina), 1937–2010, Russian poet, b. Moscow, grad. (1960) Gorky Literary Institute, Moscow. Her first poem was published in 1955 and her earliest collection, Struna [the string], appeared in 1962. During the 1960s, in the period of artistic freedom following Stalin's death, she and such other poets as Yevtushenko (her first husband) and Voznesensky recited their verse to audiences in packed stadiums. Her poems, traditional in form and apolitical in content, are noted for their brilliant imagery, bold metaphors, inventive rhymes, and intensely personal vision. Among the best known of her many poetry collections are Oznob [fever] (1968), Sad [the garden] (1987), and Larets i kliuch [casket and key] (1994). She also wrote short stories. Akhmadulina was an outspoken supporter of persecuted Russian writers, which provoked Soviet disapproval, but following the easing under Gorbachev (see also glasnost) she received enthusiastic official recognition.

See English translations of her works in Fever and Other New Poems (1969) and The Garden and Selected Poetry and Prose (1990); S. I. Ketchian, The Poetic Craft of Bella Akhmadulina (1993).

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