In his debut collection of poems, Excavating the Sky, Konstantin Kulakov labors to relate the inner spirituality of his Russian background to the fragmentation of a market-driven New World. Whether it is his failed Muslim-Christian relationship, his dance with natural science, or his struggle to expose continued US raciality, Kulakov seeks the contradictions in everything, "mixing words to bring-out sparks." What emerges is a spiritual language that resists the exclusionary tendencies of the 21st century and offers subtle flashes of possibility.
“[‘Keats by Glenomont Metro’] restricts itself to so few notes and picks them out one by one…the meditative mind bound to the world by fear, desire, and mortal knowledge."
“Konstantin Kulakov is a genuine poet – with a subtle intelligence and lyrical power. Excavating The Sky is an artistic gem!”
"A promising new voice... Kulakov is clearly eager to grapple with his own faith—and with the faith of others...honest, evocative..."
Kulakov’s poems find the holy in the unsettling yoke of disparates: in the Bible and Qur’an lying side by side; in a mango glowing from within an aluminum can; in Harlem, where “flowers of blood nailed Christ to the walls.” These are poems of displacement, as the poet wanders from D.C. to Moscow to Pakistan to Oxford to Georgia and beyond. In South Carolina he learns “life is a mute, gentle oppression / lined with rails near the edges of peril.” These perilous edges permeate his landscapes and define his journey as they do for anyone exiled from Eden. These are brave, bold poems, excruciatingly beautiful as they lay bare our predicament and direct our gaze toward what he labels “Reality.” Kulakov’s is a voice to be reckoned with, in his prophetic stance, in the power of his language, and in his linkage of poetry with the life of faith.
Described as "an artistic gem" by the maestro Cornel West, Russian-American Konstantin Kulakov's upcoming debut collection of poems has received critical acclaim in the US; the collection is due for publishing in December, 2015