Siberian romance at Cellar Bards

Michael A. Oliver-Semenov.

Michael A. Oliver-Semenov.

First published in What's on

A Welsh-born poet who lives in Siberia will be the special guest at the next Cellar Bards live literature event in Cardigan.

Topping the bill on Friday, May 30, is Cardiff born Michael A. Oliver-Semenov , whose book, Sunbathing in Siberia, will be published by Parthian on June 1. The book is described as a survival guide, romance and autobiography.

In 2011 Michael emigrated to Siberia to live with his wife Anastasia. When he is not growing vegetables at the family dacha in summer, or avoiding the wild Siberian hounds of winter, Michael is also a freelance English teacher and occasionally contributes to The Siberian Times

After his debut publication in 2009, he served as the first poet in residence for Blown, the magazine of cultural intelligence, and has since published in a number of magazines and journals worldwide, including the The Morning Star, Orbis, Mandala Review and Ink Sweat and Tears.

Sunbathing in Siberia is the story of a young British poet, who, after becoming engaged to his translator over 3500 miles east, embarks on a journey into the very heart of Siberia to marry his fiancée. However, in place of the desolate wasteland he expected to find, Michael discovers the side of Siberia little known outside of Russia. After 30 years of British rain, Michael has finally to learn the art of sunbathing, in the last place on Earth anyone would think to take a pair of flip-flops.

With little knowledge of post-Soviet Russia, or its language; and without any survival skills, Michael has to adapt to the Siberian way of life. As Russia struggles to find its new identity, Michael too is forced to recreate himself, while finding the tools needed to live with parading nuclear missiles, wild bears, and a host of extreme dangers.

The Cellar Bards meet at 8pm on Friday, May 30, at the Castle Café Cellar Bar, Cardigan. Entry is £3.

As always, there are open mic sessions open to writers of poetry, short stories, micro-fiction and novels. Just put your name down at the door if you want to read. If you don’t want to read, just go along and listen to a great variety of spoken word literature – from funny to sad to angry and fiercely political – by many talented local writers.

The Cellar Bards is hosted by writer Carly Holmes, who recently launched her first novel, The Scrapbook.

See The Cellar Bards Facebook page for more information: https://www.facebook.com/groups/333544513348067/

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