Conversation with Russian dissident writer Dmitry Bykov

Ithaca City of Asylum collaborates with FLEFF for a conversation between Dmitry Bykov and Barbara Adams about writing and politics.


Dmitry Bykov is one of Russia’s best-known public intellectuals.

He has authored more than 80 books, including novels, poetry, biographies, and literary criticism. Bykov is a four-time winner of the International Award in the Field of Fantastic Literature and a three-time winner of the Fiction International Assembly Award. A popular lecturer and public speaker, he has also served as the host of numerous television and radio programs.

In 2019, he fell ill while on an airplane flight and spent five days in a coma. An independent investigation found that the symptoms were very similar to those suffered by Russian opposition politician Alexey Navalny and that the same government agents who poisoned Navalny had also been following him.

Bykov continues to visit Russia, but he has been banned from teaching there or appearing on state television. Currently hosted in the U.S. by Ithaca City of Asylum, he is a fellow of the Open Society University Network at Cornell University’s Institute for European Studies. 


Barbara Adams is Associate Professor of Writing,  Director of the Internship Program in Writing and Publishing, and regional arts critic. 

She specializes in feature writing for magazines and newspapers, arts criticism, food and travel writing, editing and publishing, public essay and nonfiction, careers in writing, media and technology, peer tutoring. She also serves on the executive board of the Ithaca Voice, a nonprofit digital daily.

She is a regional arts journalist and co-founding member of Ithaca City of Asylum

Ithaca City of Asylum

Ithaca City of Asylum (ICOA) is dedicated to providing sanctuary to writers whose works are suppressed, whose lives are threatened, whose cultures are vanishing, or whose languages are endangered. An all-volunteer project of the Center for Transformative Action, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization affiliated with Cornell University, ICOA works in partnership with Cornell, Ithaca College, and Wells College. ICOA is a member of the International Cities of Refuge Network, joining people around the world advocating for freedom of expression.

The Park Center for Independent Media

The Park Center for Independent Media (PCIM), launched in 2008 and funded by a generous endowment from the Park Foundation, is a center for the study of media outlets that create and distribute content outside traditional corporate systems. PCIM's mission is to engage media producers and students in dialogue and action about independent media, especially US-based outlets producing content (across single- or multiple-content platforms) on issues such as equity, social justice, and sustainability.