Locals Want To Keep Russian Poet Out Of Prison & Make His Work Known

Nov 12, 2014

Ethan Lewis (left) & Mike Mheidze
Credit Rachel Otwell/WUIS

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine has fallen out of the media spotlight here in the US to some extent, but not for one local man named Mike Mheidze. He grew up in the former Soviet Union and has lived in Springfield for 20 years now. He's fighting to keep a Russian poet named Alexander Byvshev out of prison - the poems are considered by some to be extremist and he has a hearing set for later this month.

We spoke with Mheidze as well as a UIS professor named Ethan Lewis who is helping him translate the poetry into English.

Listen to Ethan Lewis read translated poems by Byvshev...

CLICK HERE to find a petition in support of Byvshev.