(1899 – 1968)
Selvinsky Ilya (Karl) Lvovich (1899 – 1968), the poet. He was born on October 12 (24 N. S.) in Simferopol in the family of a furrier, an invalid of the Turkish war of 1874. Children’s years passed in the Crimea, where he graduated from the Evpatoria Gymnasium, then studied at the Medical Faculty of the Taurida University (he did not graduate). In gymnasium and student years I tried many professions: I was a boat-boy, a port loader, a model, a reporter for the criminal chronicle, an actor of a wandering theater, agricultural workers, etc. In 1918, he became a Red Guard fighter defending Perekop. Selvinsky continued his education in Moscow, graduating from the law faculty of the University, then the Faculty of Social Sciences (1923).
In 1933 – 34 Selvinsky as a special correspondent of “Pravda” participated in the Arctic expedition of prof. O. Yu. Schmidt on the icebreaker “Chelyuskin”, subsequently writing a poem “Chelyuskinian”.
In the 1930s he traveled to Europe and Asia.
During the Patriotic War, Selvinsky was on the Crimean, Caucasian and Baltic fronts. It was in those years that he began to work on the dramatic trilogy “Russia”, which ends in 1957.
The result of many years of meditation and poetic research was the book “The Studio of the Poet” (1962).
The last work of Selvinsky was the autobiographical novel “Oh, my youth!”, Published in the journal “October” in 1966. The poet died on March 22, 1968 in Moscow.
A short biography from the book: Russian writers and poets. A short biographical dictionary. Moscow, 2000.