Michael Oliver-Semenov (aka Mao) is a Cardiff born poet and writer. Following his poetic debut in Parthian's 'Nu Fiction and Stuff', Michael has published in a plethora of magazines and anthologies worldwide. After serving as the first poet in residence for Blown, the British magazine for cultural intelligence, Michael emigrated to Krasnoyarsk, Siberia where he now lives with his wife and translator Anastasia. When he is not growing vegetables at their family dacha in summer, or avoiding the wild Siberian hounds of winter, Michael is a freelance English teacher, editor and contributor to the Siberian Times newspaper.
A seasoned performer with more than 150 performances to date, Mao's poetry has featured on Radio 5 live, BBC Radio Cymru and TVK.
Most Recent Publications:
The Morning Star:
Mandala Journal (University of Georgia USA) 2013 Issue:
Ink Sweat & Tears (Summer Issue):
In the run up to the launch of 'Sunbathing in Siberia: a marriage of East and West in Post-Soviet Russia' and 'The Elephant's Foot' in Spring 2014, Mao has recently been interviewed for the Parthian author's page:
Following the very successful launch of CHEVAL 6 at the TERRY HETHERINGTON AWARDS in Swansea, Wales, Mao's prerecorded animation that accompanied his poetry reading in Krasnoyarsk got a mention in the South Wales Evening Post:
To see the pre-recorded poetry reading for the Terry Hetherington Awards ceremony go here:
To see a video recording of the video recording go here:
Future publications include:
Red Poet Magazine. Issue 19
The Whitchurch Project (Literature Wales): A written and visual record of the long history of Cardiff’s Whitchurch Hospital, its current practices and community involvement.
The Elephant’s Foot (Parthian): A collection of Poetry.
Sunbathing in Siberia: A marriage of east and west in Post-Soviet Russia. A Memoir (Parthian):
After an unlikely relationship begins with his translator over 4000 miles away, Welsh poet Michael Oliver leaves for deepest Siberia via the Trans-Siberian railway to marry his Siberian fiancé. With little knowledge of Russia or its language; and without any survival skills, Michael has to adapt to the Siberian way of life. Only since the collapse of the USSR, Siberia isn't quite the place he expected it to be. As Russia struggles to find its new identity, Michael too is forced to recreate himself, while finding the tools needed to live with parading nuclear missiles, wild bears, and a host of extreme dangers. Part romance, part survival guide, Sunbathing in Siberia offers a realistic view of life in Post-Soviet Russia.
Samples of poetry can be seen on page 119 of the recent Lampeter Review:
And on page 63 of The Lampeter Review issue 5:
Blown e-zine issue 1:
Blown e-zine issue 2:
To see an interview with Mao go here:
In 2010 Mao created and conducted the world’s first international poetry orchestra which performed in German, French, Spanish, Dutch, Japanese and Russian, to celebrate the opening of his first poetry to painting collaboration ‘A Kind of Rubaiyat’ with the artist Jemma Bailey:
To read a review of Ten of the Best in Buzz Magazine go to page 46:
To read reviews of Cheval 5 go here:
To read Mao's blogs related to the launch of Ten of the Best go here: