About the Museum


Some Information about the Museum of Russian Poetry


Washington museum of Russian poetry was open to the public in the fall of 1997.  The foundation for the museum’s collection was the private gathering of Uli Zislin, a songwriter and bard from Moscow.  What he brought with him from Russia forms a large part of museum’s collection.  Nonetheless, the collection is constantly growing due to newly acquired items and gifts to the museum and its founder.  These new additions come from different museums, university and private individuals from Russia, Ukraine, United States, France, Canada, and Israel.


The museum is unique in many ways.  Particularly,


  1. Museum is dedicated to many well-known Russian poets and composers from the gold and silver ages (such poets as Pushkin, Lermontov, Tsvetaeva, Mandelstam, Pasternak, Akhmatova, Gumilev, and others, and such composers as Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky, Shostakovich, Prokofiev).

  2. All of the visitors are exposed to unique literary video and audio specials from the museum’s archives.
  3. The collection of the museum is very diverse, with more than 30 exhibits. The museum presents books, articles, video and audio recordings, materials from symposiums, conferences, readings, paintings, posters, photographs, autographs, memoirs, interviews, gifts, and translations of Russian poetry into English, German, French, Ukrainian, Hebrew, and Yidish.

  4. The exposition and rarities are easily accessible to public.
  5. Museum exhibits materials from over 15 other museums and private collections of Marina Tsvetaeva and 8 such institutions of Anna Akhmatova, museums of Pushkin, Blok, Pasternak, Khlebnikov and others. There is also a large exponent about Anastasia Ivanovna Tsvetaeva (Marina Tsvetaeva’s sister).
  6. As a good-bye, every visitor to the museum, come he as part of the group or on his own, listens to musical-poetic collections of songs and romances to the poems of Pushkin, Tsvetaeva, Mandelstam, Pasternak, Akhmatova, Gumilev, and even some of the museum curator’s.
  7. Museum organizes and holds:
    1. Annual bonfires in the memory of Marina Tsvetaeva (in greater Washington),
    2. Seminars about Russian poetry (through out United States),
    3. Consultations,
    4. Musical-poetic festivals, and
    5. Field visits to “Alley of the Russian Poets” and “Meadow of Russian Composers” (in Washington DC).
  8. Museum’s collection can become the foundation of American Museum of Russian Poetry and Music.
  9. Museum is open 7 days a week, but visits do require reservation.

 The museum has been visited by residents of 31 US cities from 29 states and 28 cities from 12 foreign countries.

The museum initiated

·          Annual Tsvetaeva Bonfires in the Washington Area (first Sunday in October)

·          International Tsvetaeva Bonfires of 2002 (to mark the 110th birthday of Marina Tsvetaeva, in 35 cities and ten countries)

·          The First All-American Festival of Bard Songs and Romances with Lyrics from Marina Tsvetaeva Verse, 2002-2003 (nine events in 5 cities)

·          The Alley of Russian Poets and Composers in Washington, DC (groundbreaking, April 28 2003)

·          Russian Chamber Music series in Washington, DC (12 concerts of Russian chamber music and music performed by Russian musicians, including a group of Moscow Conservatory graduates) and assisted in winning support for a large Russian public library collection in Greater Washington.

The work of the museum has been discussed in the following media sources:


-         Washington Post, Washington, DC, November 24th, 2000

-         Washington City Paper, Washington, DC, February 4, 2005

-         The Gazette, Kensigton, MD, April 2005

-         Bol’shoi Washington , Washington DC

-         Vestnik, Baltimore, MD

-         Vsglyad, San-Francisco, CA

-         Evreyskii Mir, New York, NY

-         Zerkalo, Minneappolis and Saint-Paul, MN

-         Continent, Washington, DC

-         The New Review, New York, NY

-         Poberezhee, Philadelphia PA

-         Reklama i Zhizn, Philadelphia, PA

-         Slovo\Word, New York, NY

-         MOL, Moscow, Russia

-         Russian Forwward, New York, NY

-         Nash Golos, Baltimore, MD

-         Chaika, Baltimore, MD

-         Sobesednik, Jersey City, NJ

-         Obzor, Chicago, IL

-         Evreyskaya Zhizn, Philadelphia, PA

-         Novaya Interestnaya Gazeta, Philadelphia, PA

-         Renaissance, Kiev, Ukraine

-         Radio-station Voice of America, Washington, DC

-         TV-station Voice of America, program “Okno v Mir,” Washington, DC

-         Radio-station WMNB, New York, NY

-         Radio-station Nadezhda, New York, NY

-         Radio-station Zvezda Davida, Baltimore, MD

-         TV-station TV RTN, New York, NY

-         Radio-station Russkoe Radio, Boston, MA

-         Radio-station Russkoe Radio, Chicago, IL

-         Radi-station Narodnaya Volna, New York, NY

-         Zemlyaki, Chicago, IL

-         Russkaya America, New York, NY


Information for Potential Sponsors




“The Washington Post”, November 24, 2000 by Garry Lee

“My tour of the place was a journey through contemporary Russian literary history. Zislin gave shot biographical speeches about each of the poets, pointed out letters they wrote or letters written to them. He waved his hand over hundreds of books by and about the poets and pointed out portraits or photographs of each..” 

“Washington City Paper”, February 4, 2005 by Joe Dempsey

“When hosting Americans, he always starts with a song about snow, he says, because “in Russia, winter is much more lengthy than here, so it’s much more significant.”

Irina Panchenko, Candidate of Philological Sciences, journalist (Philadelphia, 2000) from her article, “Museum of Russian Poetry in America”: 

“Here, the time, memory, and reverence are united.”