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Ukrainian Contemporary Poetry Series

Field of Foundlings

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.