LEO BUTNARU (b. 1949, Negureni, Republic of Moldova) is a Romanian poet, writer, essayist, translator, exegete of the avant-garde. He graduated in Journalism and Philology from the University of The Republic of Moldova (1972). He worked as editor and editor-in-chief for the periodical publications Tinerimea Moldovei, Literatura și arta and Moldova. He made his debut with the booklet of poems Wing of Light (1976). In January 1977 he became a member of the Writers’Union of USSR; in September of the same year, once his signature was made invalid, he was dismissed from the editorial board of the newspaper Tinerimea Moldovei because he had promoted the publication of an essay that ran counter to the official ideological direction. Between 1990 and 1993 he served as vice-president of the Writers’ Union of the Republic of Moldova. Since 1993 he has been a member of the Writers’ Union of Romania,and President of its Chişinău Branch.

A selection of his books have been translated and published in France, Russia, Spain, Germany, Bulgaria, Italie, Azerbaijan, Serbia, Poland, Tatarstan, and Ukraine.  His works have been published in over 20 foreign languages.

He has long been interested in the Russian and Ukrainian avant-gardes, from which he has compiled and published many anthologies (Hlebnikov, Mandelștam, Maiakovski, Ahmatova, Pasternak, Krucionîh, Țvetaeva, Harms, Dobîcin, Habias, Poplavski, Veciorka, Bahterev, Satunovski, Ayghi).

He has been awarded several prizes conferred by The Writers’ Union of the Republic of Moldova, and the Writers’ Union of Romania (1998; 2015), including The National Prize of the Republic of Moldova (2002), The Prize of the Culture Ministry of the Republic of Moldova (2013), and  The Laurel Wreath of the Poetry Tournament, organized by the Writers’ Union of  Romania (2016).