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In Memory of a Banyan Tree: Poems of the Outside World: 1985 to 2022
Three Wooden Trunks
The Country Where Everyone’s Name Is Fear: Selected Poems
  Oleh Lysheha

ISBN 978-1-7364323-7-2     $24  /  $28 (Canada)     5.5 x 8.5       

174 pp      
PUB DATE: April 2022       Book Release Featured Poetry


Dream Bridge: Selected Poems by Oleh Lysheha is the tenth volume in the Lost Horse Press Contemporary Ukrainian Poetry Series. Oleh Lysheha creates worlds in which horses drawn on Paleolithic caves speak their truths and the glance of a swan can transform a lost soul. Each poem leads us down an invisible path that keeps shifting, transforming us and our ideas of poetry, together with the story. In the 1970s Oleh Lysheha was expelled from Lviv University for translating modern American poetry and was sent to serve in the Red Amy in the Buryat Republic of Siberia. There he found his lifelong interest in Asian and indigenous cultures. Known as a “poets’ poet,” Lysheha’s poems were also used by Yara Arts Group, as texts for theatre pieces. In a concluding essay in the book, Artistic Director Virlana Tkacz, relates the story of the translations she created with Wanda Phipps collected in this volume and the productions she staged with them at La MaMa Experimental Theatre in New York.

About the Author

Oleh Lysheha

OLEH LYSHEHA was born on October 30, 1949 in Tysmenytsia, near the Carpathian Mountains in Ukraine. He studied foreign languages and was expelled from Lviv University during a purge in 1972 for his interest in contemporary American poetry. He was drafted and sent to do military duty in Siberia and in the Buryat Republic. There he found his lifelong interest in Asian and indigenous cultures. When he returned to Ukraine, Lysheha was isolated from official Soviet literary activities and was not published throughout the 1970s and 1980s. His first collection of poetry, The Great Bridge, published in 1989, was like nothing else printed in the official sources. In 1994 Suchasnist journal published a cycle of his longer poems. He also published his poems and prose pieces in the journal Svitovyd. He was a Fulbright Scholar and writer-in-residence at Pennsylvania State University from 1997 to 1998. The Selected Poems of Oleh Lysheha in English translations by the author and James Brasfield was published in 1999 by the Ukrainian Institute at Harvard and was awarded the PEN Translation Prize. In 2002 Lysheha published his collection To Snow and Fire. The 2012 edition of The Great Bridge included Lysheha’s newer work. In 2014, Ivan Malkovych published Winter in Tysnmenytsia; Selected Poems by Oleh Lysheha in A-Ba-Ba-Ha-La-Ma-Ha’s prestigious Ukrainian Poetry Anthology Series. Oleh Lysheha died in Kyiv on December 17, 2014. Lysheha’s poetry has been incorporated into a number of theatre pieces created by the Yara Arts Group, including Virtual Souls and Flight of the White Bird. In 2003 Yara staged his poem “Swan" and in 2011 “Raven," which was nominated for a New York Innovative Theatre award for design. In 2013 Yara created Dream Bridge, which included Lysheha’s earliest poems.



After dining in the moonlight,
He sorted the bones—
The small and the larger separated accurately
On ground that was still warm—
What if someone should come along and decide
To carve a hole in one
And make a flute..
To greet the dawn..
Otherwise things were the same—
The wild garlic was growing darker, the blackberries were filling out..
And his paw was still strong enough
To protect the night..

—Oleh Lysheha