DOVID (DAVID) UTKES (1898-1959)
He was a poet, son of a painter, born in Bialystok. He worked as a laborer in Homel (Gomel) and later in Moscow. At age twenty, he joined the Communist Party and led underground work in Bialystok. When the Red Army entered the neighboring town of Grodno, he became a member of the revolutionary committee in Volkovisk (Vawkavysk). While in the army, he published poems in the Yiddish daily newspaper Rosta, which the political division of the army published at the front. The poems were in the style of the highly popular Russian poet at the time, Demyan Bedny. From here he took the pseudonym Dovidl Kapstn (Bedny bears the same meaning in Russian as Kapstn in Yiddish [= pauper]). He lived in Moscow in the early 1920s and was a member of the proletarian writers group there (1923). There he worked primarily in the economic field and published poetry and articles very rarely. He brought out a collection (together with Khayem Gildin, Monye Gurevitsh, Elishe Rodin, and Hirsh Riklin) in Homel entitled Lider (Poems, 1921), 69 pp. Also: Af der vakh fun fssr (On guard for the USSR), 39 pp.; and Di sakhaklen fun alveltlekhn kongres fun mopr (Summation of the world congress of the International Red Aid), together with G. Geyler.
Source: A. Abtshuk, Etyudn un materyaln (Studies and materials) (Kharkov, 1934).
[Additional information from: Chaim Beider, Leksikon fun yidishe shrayber in ratn-farband (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers in the Soviet Union), ed. Boris Sandler and Gennady Estraikh (New York: Congress for Jewish Culture, Inc., 2011), p. 14.]