Born in Moscow and raised in Russia and Moldova, poet Philip Nikolayev is the son of a linguist. He grew up speaking both English and Russian and immigrated to the United States in 1990. Nikolayev earned a BA and an MA at Harvard University and a PhD at Boston University. His poetry collections include Dusk Raga (1998), Monkey Time (2003), which won a Verse prize, and Letters from Aldenderry (2006).
 
In his poems, Nikolayev pairs philosophical questions with daily life, frequently combining formal and experimental approaches. In an interview with Jack Alun for The Argotist Online, Nikolayev stated, “Writing is largely spontaneous for me and improvisation and self-surprise are important parts of it. ... I write in hopes that what moves or interests or surprises me may also cause a similar response in someone else—the providential reader, in Mandelstam’s phrase, if you will. Often I don’t know exactly where a poem—a certain kind of poem—leads me until the very end, where with some luck everything just happens to click sharply into focus.”
 
Nikolayev is one of the founding editors of Fulcrum, “an annual of poetry and aesthetics,” and his work has been featured in 180 More Extraordinary Poems for Every Day (2005). He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts with his wife, the poet Katia Kapovich.
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