53 Facts About Joseph Brodsky


Iosif Aleksandrovich Brodsky was a Russian and American poet and essayist.


Joseph Brodsky taught thereafter at Mount Holyoke College, and at universities including Yale, Columbia, Cambridge, and Michigan.


Joseph Brodsky was awarded the 1987 Nobel Prize in Literature "for an all-embracing authorship, imbued with clarity of thought and poetic intensity".


Joseph Brodsky was appointed United States Poet Laureate in 1991.


Irene Steckler was the first to categorically state that Joseph Brodsky was "unquestionably a Christian poet".


Joseph Brodsky was born into a Russian Jewish family in Leningrad.


Joseph Brodsky's father, Aleksandr Brodsky, was a professional photographer in the Soviet Navy, and his mother, Maria Volpert Brodskaya, a professional interpreter whose work often helped to support the family.


In early childhood, Joseph Brodsky survived the Siege of Leningrad where he and his parents nearly died of starvation; one aunt did die of hunger.


Joseph Brodsky later suffered from various health problems caused by the siege.


Joseph Brodsky commented that many of his teachers were anti-Jewish and that he felt like a dissident from an early age.


At fifteen, Joseph Brodsky left school and tried to enter the School of Submariners without success.


Joseph Brodsky went on to work as a milling machine operator.


Joseph Brodsky subsequently held a variety of jobs in hospitals, in a ship's boiler room, and on geological expeditions.


In 1955, Joseph Brodsky began writing his own poetry and producing literary translations.


Joseph Brodsky circulated them in secret, and some were published by the underground journal, Sintaksis.


Joseph Brodsky read them aloud to me between two train cars as we were going towards Tikhvin.


In 1960, the young Joseph Brodsky met Anna Akhmatova, one of the leading poets of the silver age.


In 1963, Joseph Brodsky's poetry was denounced by a Leningrad newspaper as "pornographic and anti-Soviet".


Joseph Brodsky's papers were confiscated, he was interrogated, twice put in a mental institution and then arrested.


Joseph Brodsky was charged with social parasitism by the Soviet authorities in a trial in 1964, finding that his series of odd jobs and role as a poet were not a sufficient contribution to society.


Joseph Brodsky rented his own small cottage, and although it was without plumbing or central heating, having one's own, private space was taken to be a great luxury at the time.


Joseph Brodsky's sentence was commuted in 1965 after protests by prominent Soviet and foreign cultural figures, including Evgeny Evtushenko, Dmitri Shostakovich, and Jean-Paul Sartre as well as Akhmatova.


Joseph Brodsky became a cause celebre in the West, when a secret transcription of trial minutes was smuggled out of the country, making him a symbol of artistic resistance in a totalitarian society, much like his mentor, Akhmatova.


Joseph Brodsky's son, Andrei, was born on 8 October 1967, and Basmanova broke off the relationship.


Andrei was registered under Basmanova's surname because Joseph Brodsky did not want his son to suffer from the political attacks that he endured.


Marina Basmanova was threatened by the Soviet authorities, which prevented her from marrying Joseph Brodsky or joining him when he was exiled from the country.


Joseph Brodsky returned to Leningrad in December 1965 and continued to write over the next seven years, many of his works being translated into German, French, and English and published abroad.


In 1972, while Joseph Brodsky was being considered for exile, the authorities consulted mental health expert Andrei Snezhnevsky, a key proponent of the notorious pseudo-medical diagnosis of "paranoid reformist delusion".


In 1971, Joseph Brodsky was invited twice to emigrate to Israel.


Joseph Brodsky never returned to Russia and never saw Basmanova again.


Joseph Brodsky went on to become a visiting professor at Queens College, Smith College, Columbia University, and Cambridge University, later returning to the University of Michigan.


Joseph Brodsky was the Andrew Mellon Professor of Literature and Five College Professor of Literature at Mount Holyoke College, brought there by poet and historian Peter Viereck.


In 1978, Joseph Brodsky was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters at Yale University, and on 23 May 1979, he was inducted as a member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.


Joseph Brodsky moved to New York's Greenwich Village in 1980 and in 1981 received the John D and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation "genius" award.


Joseph Brodsky was a recipient of The International Center in New York Award of Excellence.


In 1991, Joseph Brodsky became Poet Laureate of the United States.


Joseph Brodsky held an honorary degree from the University of Silesia in Poland and was an honorary member of the International Academy of Science.


Joseph Brodsky was a greatly honored professor, was on first name terms with the heads of many large publishing houses, and connected to the significant figures of American literary life.


In 1990, while teaching literature in France, Joseph Brodsky married a young student, Maria Sozzani, who has a Russian-Italian background; they had one daughter, Anna Joseph Brodsky, born in 1993.


The film contains Joseph Brodsky's poems dedicated to Marina Basmanova and written between 1961 and 1982.


Joseph Brodsky died of a heart attack aged 55, at his apartment in Brooklyn Heights, a neighborhood of Brooklyn, a borough of New York City, on 28 January 1996.


Joseph Brodsky had had open-heart surgery in 1979 and later two bypass operations, remaining in frail health following that time.


Joseph Brodsky was buried in a non-Catholic section of the Isola di San Michele cemetery in Venice, Italy, the resting place of Ezra Pound and Igor Stravinsky.


Joseph Brodsky is perhaps most known for his poetry collections, A Part of Speech and To Urania, and the essay collection, Less Than One, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award.


Joseph Brodsky drew on wide-ranging themes, from Mexican and Caribbean literature to Roman poetry, mixing "the physical and the metaphysical, place and ideas about place, now and the past and the future".


In particular, Joseph Brodsky emphasized the power of literature to affect its audience positively and to develop the language and culture in which it is situated.


Joseph Brodsky suggested that the Western literary tradition was in part responsible for the world having overcome the catastrophes of the twentieth century, such as Nazism, Communism, and two World Wars.


Joseph Brodsky had difficulty understanding why poetry did not draw the large audiences in the United States that it did in Russia.


Joseph Brodsky was proud of becoming an American citizen in 1977 and valued the freedoms that life in the United States provided.


Joseph Brodsky was the favored protege of the great lady of Petersburg, Anna Akhmatova, and to hear him read her poems in Russian in the Library of Congress was an experience to make one's hair stand on end even if one did not understand the Russian language.


Joseph Brodsky was the embodiment of the hopes not only of Anna Akhmatova, the last of the great Petersburg poets from the beginning of the century, but Nadezhda Mandelstam, the widow of another great martyred poet Osip Mandelstam.


Joseph Brodsky was deeply influenced by the English metaphysical poets from John Donne to Auden.


Joseph Brodsky's work is seen to have been vitally enhanced by the work of renowned translators.