In his biography included in the collection of translated works "The singing heart" (Moscow, 2010), M. Chikatuev remembered how as a first year student of the Stavropol pedagogical Institute, he with the help of Vladimir Gneushev, Director of the literary group in the newspaper "Young leninist", and Igor Romanov, a grad student, prepared a word for word translation of his poems and sent them to the creative competition in Litinstitute. Subsequent events in his autobiography, describes this:
" Months passed. We graduated from the first course. And we, the second course students has already been sent (right after exams!) to the hay to the farm "Temizhbeksky" <...>. I remember well: on 20 of June we were at the farm, have already cleaned hay, stubble mounted mowers. Smooth, large field. I sit on the springy seat of horse-drawn rake and clean hay funny, put it flat, in parallel rows-rolls. <...> And I have worked a month on these horse rake – until July 20th. And on the 20th of July, I think, about 10 o'clock, my classmates - my friends Sasha Lagunov and Vladik Ostankovich, ran to me, crying. They were very happy – so, good news! I stopped my horses and cheerfully jumped off the springy seat of my rake!
– Misha! Misha! - they cried both at once. – You have to go to Stavropol to the Dean's office. You passed the creative contest in the Literary institute, and on 27 of July you need to be in Moscow!".
On the same day, without wasting a minute, Michael reached Stavropol, and from there to his native village Inzhich-Chukun, shared good news with his mom. She listened to the news, sold the heifer, gave her son two hundred rubles and admonished in the way.
On 27 of July, as ordered, Chikatuev was sitting in one of the classrooms of the institute before the poet Alexander Kovalenkov who conducted the interview. The interview is a mandatory form of test for admission, a kind of second round after a creative competition, which is determined by the level of education of the applicant and its literary abilities. After the meeting the teacher (A. A. Kovalenkov was one of the leaders of the poetry workshop at the Literary institute) transmitted his opinion to the chair of creativity in writing. As subsequently established Chikatuev, Kovalenkov`s impression of him could fit in a few lines: "Serious, thoughtful highlander; it's obvious: lit in him a spark of poetry; loves the Caucasus of Pushkin and Lermontov. Read even of Leo Tolstoy! Interestingly spoke of "Hadji Murat". I think it will be good".
There, in the Department of creativity, Chikatuev met with positive reviews they sent to the contest poems. Their authors were poets Vasily Zhuravlev and Stepan Schipachev. The second expert completed his review with a categorical recommendation: "Take Michael Chikatuev to the institute certainly!"
"And this phrase Stepan Petrovich underlined with red pencil... twice," said the poet in the memories.
After the interview was the traditional entrance examinations, with which the applicant consulted, and he was enrolled in the first year.
It is important to have this detail: this year their works to the contest filed 3000 people, only 116 of them passed it, and after the exams was eliminated 86 and there left only 30. "30 people is a constant number of students who enrolled the institute per year. A total of 30 from all over the Soviet Union! And for me, the boy from Abaza mountain village, was lucky to get this little cherished number – and the first in the history of Karachay-Cherkessia! Of course, I was proud and happy! And tried very hard to keep up with the rest 29, to learn well. I was a messenger not only of my little Abaza people, but of the entire Karachay-Cherkessia!".
Here we interrupt notes of Chikatuev`s autobiography and refer to the documents of personal and training file that are stored in the archive of the Literary institute. The study of the content of this folder allows you to expound on the history of the passage of the novice Abaza poet in one of the most prestigious universities in the country, to expand and complement the information about him, to trace the stages of transition from the Stavropol pedagogical institute to the Literary institute. It should be noted that this was preceded by a complicated procedure.
First, Chikatuev had to apply to the Bureau of the literary Association of Cherkessia for advice, and he did it in the early spring of 1956. On March of 21 was held the meeting of the Bureau with the participation of H. H. Gashokov, F. A. Abdulzhalilov, I. A. Atmakine, A. N. Okhtov, K. S.-G. Dzhegutanov on which the application was considered and issued:
"To ask the Stavropol Regional branch of the Union of Soviet writers to sign a petition to the Secretariat of the Union of Soviet writers of the USSR on the recommendation to the Literary Institute by Gorky at the Soviet writers ' Union, Abaza novice poet comrade Chikatuev Michael Khadgievich, born in 1938, Abaza, a member of the young Communist League from 1949, of education 10 clas., a member of the literary group at the wording of the regional newspaper "Socialistichesky Cherkessia", working in the field of poetry since 1951, with about 50 poems.
To oblige the head of the literature group at the wording of the regional newspaper "Socialistichesky Cherkessia", member of Bureau of literary group Dzhegutanov K. to give Chikatuev a recommendation for admission to the Literary Institute by Gorky at the Soviet writers ' Union of the USSR."
The Protocol was signed by the head of the literary group H. H. Gashokov.
In the Chikatuev`s student file present also a recommendation of K. Dzhegutanov written on behalf of the literary group at the Abaza national newspaper:
"Michael Chikatuev from1952 is an active member of this literary group. During this time on the pages of regional newspapers, as well as in the collective collections of Abaza, Circassian produced books, printed about 50 poems.
In his poems, M. Chikatuev seeks to reveal the essence of the phenomena of life by means of art. In his not-yet-established creative writing is a sense of identity, originality of talent of the young poet. There is no doubt that T. Chikatuev has the necessary data in order to become a real writer.
M. Chikatuev constantly improve his knowledge – learn, increases their poetic skills. Currently, he is a first year student of the Stavropol pedagogical Institute.
Literary group believes that M. Chikatuev need to continue his studies within the walls of the Institute by Gorky, as his calling in life he finds in the literature.
Literary group unanimously recommends M. Chikatuev to the Literary institute by Gorky".
Date of document not dated, but we can assume that he was trained in the next after the meeting of the Bureau of the literary Association days, i.e. on 20 days of March, 1956.
In the cover letter to the Director of the Literary institute, signed by the responsible Secretary of the regional branch of the Union of writers V. I. Turinskaya, reported:
"We send you a statement of Chikatuev Michael Khadgievich, young Abaza poet, his poems, translations, and footnotes of his poems.
Please allow him to audition.
Chikatuev had a lot of hard work, on the recommendation of the Circassian literary Association he is a capable and promising poet, actively involved into literary group of the regional youth newspaper "Young Leninist."
Young Abaza literature has no author who graduated from the Literary Institute.
The Institute welcome Chikatuev and will help the Abaza writers in General."
The letter was made on 2 of April. Thus, not in March, as reported in his autobiography, but in early April of 1956, Chikatuev`s documents was sent to the Literary Institute.
To be continued ...