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Chudinova Nina Anatolievna

    Born in Leningrad on January 17, 1954. I became an orphan when I was five years old. My aunt Valentina Ivanovna brought me to a children's home located in Sheinovo village of the Vologda region, where I spent two years. Later, when I turned eight, I was sent to a boarding school in the town of Ustyuzhny. At nine I tried writing my first poetry.
   That was the time when I first became acquainted with Anna Akhmatova. After dinner I was returning to the dormitory located on the other side of the road. Crossing the road, I saw by its side pages torn out of a magazine. I picked up a page. A beautiful woman was looking at me from a portrait. I read the inscription "Anna Akhmatova" underneath the photo, followed by some poetry. I picked up the remaining pages, they turned out to be from the 1960 issue of "Yunost" ("Youth") magazine. The poetry of Anna Akhmatova struck me. I read her "Leningrad Cycle" over and over again. I learned about her life and poetry from our school library materials. I was fascinated by her poetic world. Thus Akhmatova became my unofficial instructor in my first poetic experiments.
   Three years have passed. In 1965 we came to Leningrad for the Pushkin Days. I was glad to be in my native city again. We were brought for an excursion to Pushkin's house on Moika Embankment, 12 on June 4. The guide led us through the rooms, telling us about the Pushkin family, about the poet's last days. An gray-haired woman, somewhat overweight, sat at a small desk in the poet's cabinet. She was writing something in a large notebook. The guide said: "This is Anna Andreyevna Akhmatova". But the woman continued to write, paying no attention to anyone. I looked at her and could not imagine that this tired woman was Anna Akhmatova. When everyone was gone, I stayed and continued looking at her. Obviously noticing that someone was looking at her, she lifted her head and said: "What do you want?" Confused, I could only squeak in a thin voice: "I write poetry too". To this Akhmatova answered: "Please do". And then our class lady came and conducted me where the rest of our group was. Thus our encounter ended.
   Later, when I graduated from high school, and later from technical construction school, after working for two years at a construction site in the city of Cherepovets, I returned to Leningrad on my aunt's demand. In 1976, having gone through a contest, I participated in Maya Borisova's seminar in a conference of Young Writers of the North-West. I have later participated in conferences in 1985 and 1989. From 1981 to 1983 I attended the Leningrad Librarian's Technical School. From 1983 to 1985 I worked as a teacher and organizer in "Vostok" ("Orient") adolescent club. In 1994 I was directed to the First National Young Writers' Conference in Moscow as a representative of St. Petersburg. I was accepted into the Russian Writers' Association at the conference.

   Collections of poetry:
   "Trees in the Wind", 1990. "Steps in the Dew", 1992. "The Smell of Mowed Grass", 1994 . "Light and Shadow", 1995, second print in 1998. "On the Roads of My Fate", 1997. "Star Wind", 1998. "Star Wind" - selected works, 1999.
   In 1997 "Light and Shadow" selection has been nominated for the A. Fet Prize.
   I became laureate of the A. Fet Prize in 1997.

   Collective almanachs:
   "The Mansard", "Bear's Songs", "Transparent Flows of the Beloved Lyric", "By the Sword of My Mouth", an anthology. "The Heart of Russia Will Not Forget", to A.S. Pushkin's 200th anniversary, 1999.

   "Youth" magazine, Turkmenistan edition, issue 4, 1990. Translation from Persian.
   Wan Chang Yao's poem "To the Boatmen of Our Time", 1998, from Chinese.
   Translated from German the poetry of Herman Hesse  in the almanach "From Goethe to Kalau", 1999, "Duma" publishing house of Russia's  Writers' Association.

   My poetry has been translated into German, Chinese, Turkmenian and Persian.

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