Poetry of War
February 9, 2023 | 11:00AM - 12:30PM
This is an online event.
A webinar with prominent contemporary Ukrainian poets who continue to write during Russia’s war in Ukraine. Through their poetry, Alex Averbuch, Daryna Gladun, Iia Kiva, Julia Musakovska, and Oksana Maksymchuk, reflect on the catastrophic events that have been happening to their homeland since February 24, 2022. Some of these authors have been displaced and work in exile. The others stayed in Ukraine and keep working under continuous shelling in the circumstances of a humanitarian catastrophe with daily power outages and reduced heat and water supply in their homes. They document the war experiences of their people and themselves in a unique way – lyrical, metaphoric, and psychological. Their poetry creates the language to express the most difficult emotions and to reflect on the shock, suffering, resistance, love, and loss. It is an endeavor to make sense of nonsensical and to experience the unforgivable, while their beloved and close ones are on the front lines defending millions of Ukrainian lives.
About the speakers:
Alex Averbuch is a poet, translator, and literary historian. He is the author of three books of poetry and an array of literary translations between Hebrew, Ukrainian, English, and Russian. His poetry deals with the issues of ethnic fragmentation and in-betweenness, multiple identities, queerness, cross- and multilingualism, documentalist writing, and memory. His latest book Zhydivs’kyi korol' (The Jewish King) was published in 2021 and is currently shortlisted for the Shevchenko National Prize. Averbuch has organized numerous poetic performances and festivals, such as the International Festival of Contemporary Ukrainian Poetry (summer 2020), and edited a major section of an issue of Ukrainian Literature: A Journal of Translations, dedicated to the poetry of this festival’s participants. He is active in promoting Ukrainian-Jewish relations. He has translated into Hebrew and published over thirty selections of poetry by contemporary Ukrainian poets. Currently he is compiling and editing an anthology of contemporary Ukrainian poetry in Hebrew translation. In 2022 he organized a first-of-its-kind series of bilingual (Ukrainian-Hebrew) literary events dedicated to contemporary Ukrainian poetry in Hebrew translation, which involved over fifty prominent Ukrainian and Israeli poets and translators. He holds PhD in Slavic and Jewish studies from the University of Toronto. Since 2022 he has been an Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Postdoctoral fellow at the University of Alberta.
Daryna Gladun is a Ukrainian poet, translator, artist and researcher from Bucha (born in Khmelnytskyi). Her major scientific interests lie in the field of contemporary Ukrainian literature and poetry performance. She published dozens of articles in various journals and participated in numerous scientific conferences in Ukraine, Poland, Czech Republic, and the USA.Daryna Gladun is a curator of Performance School at Creative Youth Seminar (since 2017) and a participant of Performance Studies International (since 2020). She is the author of a wide range of solo and group performances. Daryna conducted lectures and workshops on performance, translation, and blackout poetry and organized literary events for prominent Ukrainian institutions and festivals.Gladun is a laureate of numerous literary contests, a recipient of fellowships from the President of Ukraine, International Writers’ and Translators’ House, House of Europe, Staromiejski House of Culture, Potsdam University, Institute for Human Sciences (IWM).
Iya Kiva is poet, translator and journalist, member of Pen Ukraine. She was born in 1984 in Donetsk, because of the Russian-Ukrainian war she has moved to Kyiv in 2014. She is the author of two collections of poetry, "Farther from Heaven (2018) and "The First Page of Winter" (2019), as well as a book of interviews with Belarus writers "We will awaken as others: conversations with contemporary Belarus authors about the past, the present, and the future of Belarus" (2021). Her poetry has been translated into more than 30 languages. How separate books were published translations into Bulgarian (a poetry book "Witness of Namelessness", 2022, translator Denis Olegov) and into Polish (a poetry book " The black roses of time", 2022, translator Aneta Kaminska). Kiva is the recipient of a Gaude Polonia fellowship (2021), the Dartmouth College writer support program (2022), Documenting Ukraine program (Austria, 2022) and others. Based in Lviv, Ukraine.
Oksana Maksymchuk is a bilingual Ukrainian-American poet, scholar, and literary translator. Her poetry appeared in AGNI, The Irish Times, The Paris Review, The Poetry Review, and many other journals. In the Ukrainian, she is the author of poetry collections Xenia and Lovy and a recipient of Bohdan-Ihor Antonych and Smoloskyp prizes, two of Ukraine’s top awards for younger poets. With Max Rosochinsky, she co-edited Words for War: New Poems from Ukraine, an award-winning anthology of contemporary poetry. Oksana won first place in the Richmond Lattimore and Joseph Brodsky-Stephen Spender translation competitions and was awarded a National Endowments for the Arts Translation Fellowship. She is the co-translator of Apricots of Donbas by Lyuba Yakimchuk; and The Voices of Babyn Yar by Marianna Kiyanovska. Oksana holds a PhD in philosophy from Northwestern University. She currently resides in Warsaw, Poland.
Yuliya Musakovska was born in 1982 in Lviv, Ukraine. She is an award-winning poet and translator. She is the author of five poetry collections in Ukrainian, most recently The God of Freedom (2021), and a bi-lingual collection, Iron (2022), in Ukrainian and Polish (translation by Aneta Kaminska). Yuliya has received numerous literary awards in Ukraine, including the prominent Smoloskyp Poetry Award for young authors and the Dictum Prize from Krok Publishing House. Her individual poems have been translated into over 25 languages and published internationally, recently appearing in AGNI, The Springhouse Journal, Tupelo Quarterly, Red Letters, The Apofenie Magazine, etc. Yuliya is a translator of Tomas Tranströmer to Ukrainian and of contemporary Ukrainian authors to English. She is a member of PEN Ukraine.
Olha Khometa is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Slavic Literatures and Languages at the University of Toronto, where she is working on her dissertation, entitled “The Politics of Style: Late Modernism in the Ukrainian, Jewish Russophone and Russian Literatures in the 1930s.” Olha earned both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees with a major in Ukrainian Language and Literature, at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Kyiv, Ukraine. She completed the summer school program at the Harvard Ukrainian Summer Institute in 2014. She is a co-organizer of the series of literary readings entitled Contemporary Ukrainian Diaspora & Emigre Literature in cooperation with the Canadian Ukrainian Art Foundation in Toronto.
Sponsor: Petro Jacyk Program for the Study of Ukraine