Andrei Codrescu

American, 1946

In 1965, Andrei Codrescu exchanged a two thousand dollar bribe to the Communist regime for the freedom to leave his native Romania. Two years later, at the age of twenty-one, he became involved in the thriving literary scene in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, where he met such luminaries as Allen Ginsberg and Anne Waldman. He published his first book of poetry in 1970 and has since produced an average of one book a year – novels and essays as well as poetry – along with teaching, acting, and serving as a regular commentator on NPR.