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MOUNTAIN & FLOWER: Selected Poems of Mykola Vorobiov  •  Translated from the Ukrainian by Maria G. Rewakowicz
CARBON: SONG OF CRAFTS

Ukrainian Contemporary Poetry Series

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A FIELD OF FOUNDLINGS: Selected Poems of Iryna Starovoyt

Iryna Starovoyt : : : Translated from the Ukrainian by Grace Mahoney

In A Field of Foundlings, Starovoyt investigates Ukraine’s suppressed generational memory of the 20th century and the new context of its retelling in Eastern Europe. Drawing on the paradoxes of mythology, technology, and tradition, Starovoyt brings the traces of undesirable histories and the minefields of memory into unexpected constellations that interrogate assertions of knowledge and meaning-making in our world today. In a time where the chaos and power of forces beyond our own seem to diminish the potency of the past, Starovoyt’s poems invoke a conscious dialogue with a past that is not severed from the ever-changing present, but echoes in our sense of self, brings some continuity to our daily decisions, and orients us toward the future.

A Field of Foundlings is the first volume in Lost Horse Press’ dual-language series of Contemporary Ukrainian Poetry.

 

 

YA_FrontCoverSONGS FOR A DEAD ROOSTER  poems by Yuri Andrukhovych

Series Editor: Grace Mahoney : : : Translated from the Ukrainian by Vitaly Chernetsky & Ostap Kin

The second installment in Lost Horse Press’ Contemporary Ukrainian Poetry Series presents a selection of poems by Yuri Andrukhovych, one of contemporary Ukraine’s leading writers. While Andrukhovych is well known internationally as a novelist and essayist, his recognition in Ukraine was first as a poet, and poetry remains a key part of his creative output. This volume gathers selections from two distinct periods of Andrukhovych’s poetry. The first spans the 1980s through the early 1990s, associated with his involvement as a founding member of the Bu-Ba-Bu (Burlesque-Sideshow-Buffoonery) group of Ukrainian poets. This writing is characterized by openness, fluidity of structure, and an overall formal exuberance. After publishing only prose for a number of years, Andrukhovych returned to poetry in 2004 with a much-changed poetics with the collection, Songs for a Dead Rooster. These later poems represent a different Andrukhovych: older, well-traveled, moving from early exuberance to a more subdued, melancholic tone. Rooted in the autobiographical here and now, their voice is bold and fresh, open, fragile, and unaffected. Perhaps most importantly, Andrukhovych’s later poetry manages to combine, in a truly masterly fashion, the rootedness in all the problems, complexes, and neuroses of the post-Soviet/postcolonial double bind, in which Ukrainian culture finds itself, on the one hand, and the emphatic engagement with the processes of cultural globalization, on the other.

 

S_FrCoverSMOKES  poems by Yuri Izdryk

Series Editor: Grace Mahoney : : : Translated by Roman Ivashkiv & Erín Moure

The third in Lost Horse Press’ Contemporary Ukrainian Poetry Series is Yuri Izdryk’s Smokes. Scheduled for a Spring 2019 release, Izdryk’s poetry explodes with existential contemplations and addresses regarding love, identity, nature, society, and even God. All his poems operate with an indefatigable play with language that encompasses incessant punning rhymes, Joycean multilingual puns, ludic shifts of tone and register, and scintillating intertextual games. In creating a sophisticated semantic soundscape where sound drives meaning, Izdryk impishly reinvigorates the rhyming tradition in Ukrainian poetry, which only recently has leaned towards free verse. To a North American reader, the poems—which are all short riffs—evoke styles of rap, hip-hop, or jazz. Largely letting go of the rhymes, the translators of this selection of Izdryk’s work emphasize his zany rhythms to capture his deft play with both modernity and tradition, and his vigorous gallows humor. In Izdryk, linguistic dexerity is the roll of the dice that, though it can’t vanquish apocalyptic despair, can keep its desolation at bay.

 

 

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PRAY TO THE EMPTY WELLS   poems by Iryna Shuvalova

Series Editor: Grace Mahoney : : : Translated by Olena Jennings and the Author

From one of Ukraine’s most distinct female voices in poetry, Pray to the Empty Wells is Iryna Shuvalova’s first book-length collection of poems in English. Deeply rooted in Ukraine’s folk culture, Shuvalova’s poetry re-mixes traditional spirituality with pulsating eroticism and an acute awareness of the natural environment. Presented in dual-language format, the poems in this collection offer a long poetic meditation on memory and life’s natural cycles. Each word, like a life force, forms a connective substance that weaves between lines and verses. Though the wells are empty, Shuvalova’s language overflows with rich images, corporeality, and a metaphoric sensibility that reaches across place and time and reverberates as a prayer against ancient stone.

 

 

ANO_FrontSmA NEW ORTHOGRAPHY     poems by Serhiy ZhadanSeries Editor: Grace Mahoney : : : Translated from the Ukrainian by John Hennessy & Ostap Kin

Translators John Hennessy and Ostap Kin have been awarded the John Frederick Nims Memorial Prize for Translation from Poetry magazine for work included in this volume.

A New Orthography by Serhiy Zhadan is the fifth volume in Lost Horse Press’s Contemporary Ukrainian Poetry Series. In these poems, the poet focuses on daily life during the Russo-Ukrainian war, rendering intimate portraits of the country’s residents as they respond to crisis. Zhadan revives and revises the role of the nineteenth-century Romantic bard, one who portrays his community with clarity, preserving its most precious aspects and darkest nuances. The poems investigate questions of home, exile, solitude, love, and religious faith, making vivid the experiences of noncombatants, refugees, soldiers, and veterans. This collection will be of interest to those who study how poetry observes and mirrors the shifts within a country during wartime, and it offers solace as well.

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MOUNTAIN and FLOWER: Selected Poems of Mykola Vorobiov   •   Translated from the Ukrainian by Maria G. Rewakowicz     Series Editor: Grace Mahoney

Mountain and Flower is Mykola Vorobiov’s second book in English translation, presenting a selection of poems spanning more than fifty years of his poetic craft. The book begins with early poems from his first collection, Remind Me for the Road, to his most recent works. One of the founding members of the nonconformist literary group known as the Kyiv School of Poetry, early Vorobiov is known for his preoccupation with metaphor and surreal imagery. In his more mature poetry he reveals himself as a master of miniature, with considerable affinity to Japanese haiku where the perception of a fleeting moment constitutes the essence of his poems’ rationale. Nature reigns supreme in Vorobiov’s poetic oeuvre and it provides him with endless opportunity for creating startling images. His intuitive connection to the surrounding environs is so penetrating and organic that his visions, however strange, come across as convincing and justified. There are hardly any references to Ukrainian realities (past or present) in his poetry. Vorobiov’s concerns hover around the issues of existence on all possible levels—plants, animals, humans, inanimate objects, and the universe. The poet is not interested in conveying the past; rather, he trusts his imagination as the ultimate source of creativity. Mountain and Flower attempts to penetrate the invisible that has no beginning and no end, and invites the reader to plunge into this mysterious unknown.

 

 

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 APRICOTS OF DONBAS  poems by Lyuba Yakimchuk     translated by Oksana Maksymchuk, Max Rosochinsky & Svetlana Lavochkina    •  Series Editor: Grace Mahoney

Apricots of Donbas­——by award-winning contemporary Ukrainian poet Lyuba Yakimchuk—is the 7th book in the Lost Horse Press Contemporary Ukrainian Poetry Series. As are previous volumes in the Series, it has been released in a dual-language edition. Born and raised in a small coal-mining town in Ukraine’s industrial east, Yakimchuk lost her family home in 2014, when the region was occupied by Russian-backed militants, and her parents and sister were forced to flee as refugees. Reflecting the complex emotional experiences of a civilian witnessing a gradual disintegration of her familiar surroundings, Yakimchuk’s poetry is versatile, ranging from sumptuous verses about the urgency of erotic desire in a war-torn city to imitations of child-like babbling about the tools and toys of military combat. Playfulness in the face of catastrophe is a distinctive feature of Yakimchuk’s voice, evoking the legacy of the Ukrainian Futurists of the 1920s. The poems’ artfulness goes hand in hand with their authenticity, offering intimate glimpses into the story of a woman affected by a life-altering situation beyond her control.

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The eighth volume in the Lost Horse Press Contemporary Ukrainian Poetry Series, Eccentric Days of Hope and Sorrow brings together a selection of Natalka Bilotserkivets poetry written over the last four decades. Having established an English language following largely on the merits of a single poem, Bilotserkivets’s larger body of work continues to be relatively unknown. Natalka Bilotserkivets was an active participant in Ukraine’s Renaissance of the late-Soviet and early independence period. Now, nearly thirty years on, much has changed in the land of her birth, but the lyricism and urgency in Bilotserkivets’s poetry remain; her voice still speaks about movement and restricted movement, even symbolic movement. Eccentric Days of Hope and Sorrow endeavors to go back to shed light on the missing history.