Portrait by  Jared Michael Siskin

Konstantin Kulakov is a Russian-American poet, writing coach, and content writer born in Zaoksky, former Soviet Union.  He is the recipient of the Greg Grummer Poetry Award judged by Brian Teare and holds a Master of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. Kulakov’s poems and translations have appeared or are forthcoming in Spillway, Phoebe, Harvard Journal of African American Public Policy, Loch Raven Review, The Christian Century, Tidal Basin Review, Taos Journal of International Poetry and Art, Tule Review, Ghost Town, and Exposition Review, among others. His debut chapbook, Excavating the Sky, was published by Dialogue Foundation Books in 2015 and lauded by Kirkus Reviews, The Christian Century, and WAU’s The Gateway. Select poems have been translated into Russian and Spanish as well as featured in Мы только стоим на берегу/We’re Just Standing at The Shore (Eksmo 2012).

With three generations of Soviet dissident pastors in his background, questions around social justice, spiritual health and technoscience are an indispensable part of Kulakov’s work. In the summer of 2016, as Community Minister at Judson Memorial Church, he launched an eclectic panel on Art and Activism, featuring Rev. Osagyefo Sekou, Amin Husain, Sarah Browning, Rev. Micah Bucey, Rev. Je Exodus Hooper, Elz Cuya Jones, Alfonse Borysewicz, Natasha Johnson, and Mariame Kaba. He also served as poet in the art collective, THE WATERISTS, performing multimedia collaborations with composer Toby Twining, painter Alfonse Borysewicz, dancer Darla Stanley, and tenor John Bellemer in houses of worship, art galleries, and schools. In 2018, a series of his Advent poems, Holy Radiators, was set to music by Twining and recorded with Bellemer at Pogo Studios in Nashville, TN. Currently, Kulakov is an MFA candidate at Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac School in Boulder, CO and serves as Graduate Assistant at the Naropa Writing Center. He divides his time between New York City and Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic, writing coaching, preaching, and content writing.


Konstantin Kulakov
Washington Heights Basement, 2017
Watercolor on inkjet paper

"But this winter night, my feet touch
chilled cement in honor

of firm gravity... In my room,
I punch in letters, mixing words

to bring-out sparks. And it is You, Yahweh."

from Excavating the Sky
Dialogue Foundation Books, 2015