Alexei Khvostenko, (nicknamed “Khvost” which in Russian means “tail”), was born in 1914 in Sverdlovsk (today Yekaterinburg). He studies at the Leningrad State Institute of Theatre, Music and Cinematography. In 1963 he publishes his first book of poems Podozritel. An active figure in Russian intellectual underground circles, most of his poetry and songs are published by Samizdat (the underground press). Khvostenko becomes a leading figure in the revival of the avant-garde movement in Soviet literature and the arts after the death of Stalin. He participates in the writing of “The Golden City” – a song that has become an icon in Russia in 1987, after Boris Grebenshchikov sang it in the film Assa.
Khvostenko is also known as a painter and a sculptor, although he never participates in official exhibitions. He is famous for colorful and modern collages. In 1977 he is forced to leave Russia because of his political activities and settles in Paris. He publishes with Vladmir Maramzin the literary review Echo and becomes a leading figure among Russian dissidents living in France. He continues to write poetry and songs which become very popular in Russia after Glasnost. In 2004, at the invitation of President V. Putin, Khvostenko returns to his homeland. Khvostenko dies in 2004 in Moscow.