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Portrait of Benedikt Livshits by David Burliuk

Benedikt Konstantinovich Livshits (Russian: Бенеди́кт Константи́нович Ли́вшиц) (December 24, 1886 (Old Style)/January 6, 1887 (New Style) — May 15, 1939) was a poet and writer of the Silver Age of Russian Poetry.

Benedikt was born to a Jewish family in Odessa. He studied Law at Novorossia University there, then transferred to Kiev University, where he graduated in 1912. He was then conscripted to the Russian army and served in the 88th Infantry Regiment. In 1914 he was conscripted again and served in the infantry during World War I, being awarded the Cross of St. George.

His first poetry was published in the Anthology of Modern Poetry (Kiev) in 1909. In 1910 he worked for Sergei Makovsky's symbolist art magazine Apollon.

Together with Wladimir Burliuk, David Burliuk, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Vasily Kamensky, and Alexandra Exter he was a member of the Futurist group Hylaea (Russian Gilea).

In 1933 he published a book of memoirs, The One and half-eyed Strelets, that is considered one of the best histories of Russian Futurism. In 1934 he published a large book of translations from French poetry, From Romantics to Surrealism.

In 1939 during the Great Purge he was arrested and executed as an enemy of the people.

Literary works

  • Marsia Fleute (1911, printing was destroyed by government censorship).
  • Sun of wolves (Volch'e solntse), 1914
  • The One and a Half-eyed Archer (Polutoraglazyj strelets), 1933[1] - memoirs about the Futurist movement.


  1. ^ (Harvard Biographies (I-L)) at

External links

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