Airaudi, Jesse T. “Hard to Be a God: The Political Antiworlds of Voznesensky, Sokilov, and the Brothers Strugatsky.” In Visions of the Fantastic: Selected Essays from the Fifteenth International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts, edited by Allienne R. Becker. London: Greenwood Press, 1996. Airaudi provides a sound rationale for Voznesensky’s use of the fantastic to escape from the false, primary world imposed by governments and ruled by ideologies. Airaudi places Voznesensky in the tradition of the Russian writer Nikolai Gogol, yet suggests Western readers can best understand Voznesensky in terms of surrealism.
Brown, Deming. Soviet Russian Literature Since Stalin. London: Cambridge University Press, 1978. This well-documented literary history provides a good overview of the complex and ever-fluctuating relationship between literature and politics in the two decades following the death of dictator Joseph Stalin. Voznesensky is referred to throughout the book and is a key figure in the fifth chapter, “The Younger Generation of Poets.”
Carlisle, Olga. Poets on Street Corners: Portraits of Fifteen Russian Poets. New York: Random House, 1968. In this collection of biographical sketches, Carlisle, the granddaughter of noted Russian writer Leonid Andreyev, has included poets who write about and for ordinary Russians living ordinary lives. Her chapter on Voznesensky features lengthy quotations from interviews with the poet between 1963 and 1967. Voznesensky’s comments on the significance of poetry and the role of the poet are particularly illuminating.
Plimpton, George, ed. Beat Writers at Work: The Paris Review. New York: Random House, 1999. Conversations between Voznesensky and American poets Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky provide an entertaining, behind-the-scenes look at the writers as they discuss the poet’s craft.
Porter, Robert, ed. Seven Soviet Poets. London: Gerald Duckworth, 2000. Porter’s slender collection provides a thoughtful introduction, bibliographies, a historical reference guide, annotations, and biographical time lines for Voznesensky as well as other twentieth century Russian poets. These sections are in English, but the poetry is in Russian. For readers who are new to the language, the collection provides a good starting point with a supplemental vocabulary.