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Born in Siberia near Lake Baikal, Yevgeny Yevtushenko is Russia's best-known living poet. He published his first poem in 1949, and his famous poem "Babi Yar," which inspired Dimitri Shostakovich's Symphony No. 13, was published in 1961. Besides his poetry, Yevtushenko has also written essays and novels, and his writing has been translated into more than 70 languages. He has toured more than 90 countries and is a recipient of many honors, including the highest decoration in Russia, Great Achievements for the "Motherland" (2004). He is a professor at Tulsa University in Oklahoma.