Podcast: Word Play Experimental Poetry and Soviet Children's Literature

Ainsley Morse's book Word Play: Experimental Poetry and Soviet Children's Literature (Northwestern UP, 2021) traces the history of the relationship between experimental aesthetics and Soviet children's books, a relationship that persisted over the seventy years of the Soviet Union's existence. From the earliest days of the Soviet project, children's literature was taken unusually seriously—its quality and subject matter were issues of grave political significance. Yet, it was often written and illustrated by experimental writers and artists who found the childlike aesthetic congenial to their experiments in primitivism, minimalism, and other avant‑garde trends. In the more repressive environment following Stalin's rise to power, experimental aesthetics were largely relegated to unofficial and underground literature, but unofficial writers continued to author children's books, which were often more appealing than adult literature of the time.

Please listen to the podcast interview with Ainsley Morse on New Books Network