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Pray to the Empty Wells: Iryna Shuvalova and Vasyl Makhno
Presenter(s): Iryna Shuvalova, Vasyl Makhno, and Olena Jennings
May 4, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Join us for a reading of Ukrainian poetry by IRYNA SHUVALOVA and VASYL MAKHNO with English translations by OLENA JENNINGS. Translations include works in progress from a collection of Shuvalova’s work to be released by Lost Horse Press in 2019.
IRYNA SHUVALOVA is a Ukrainian poet, translator and scholar. Born in Kyiv, Ukraine, in 1986, she started writing from an early age and later developed a scholarly interest in literature. She published three collections of poems in Ukrainian: ‘Ran’ (2011), ‘Os’ (2014) and ‘Az’ (2014), and undertook a number of writing residencies in different parts of Europe: among them, the Hawthornden Fellowship in 2015. In 2009, she co-edited ‘120 pages of Sodom’ – the first queer anthology in Ukraine. She went on to win a number of writing and translation awards, including the Joseph Brodsky / Stephen Spender Prize in 2012. Her most recent book-length translation into Ukrainian was Yann Martel’s ‘Life of Pi’ (2016). Her poetry has been translated into nine languages and published in ‘Modern Poetry in Translation’, ‘Ambit’, ‘Podium Literatur’, ‘Radar’, ‘The Wolf’ and ‘International Poetry Review’ among others. She was featured in the CBC Arts documentary project “Interrupt This Program: Kiev”, and her poetry was recently read from stage at the Royal Court Theater in London. She performed widely at the readings and festivals abroad, including Yara’s Winter Festival in New York and, most recently, the Oslo International Poetry Festival of 2017 where she also delivered the opening keynote speech. Iryna holds an MA in Comparative Literature from Dartmouth College where she studied on a Fulbright scholarship. Currently, she is a PhD student and Gates scholar at the University of Cambridge where her research centers on the role of oral poetry in war-affected communities. She also serves as an assessor for English PEN.
VASYL MAKHNO is a Ukrainian poet, prose writer, essayist, and translator. He is the author of twelve collections of poetry: Skhyma (1993), Caesar’s Solitude (1994), The Book of Hills and Hours (1996), The Flipper of the Fish (2002), 38 Poems about New York and Some Other Things (2004), Cornelia Street Café: New and Selected Poems(2007), Winter Letters (2011), I Want to be Jazz and Rock’n’Roll (2013), Bike (2015) Jerusalem Poems (2016) and most recently Paper Bridge (2017). He has also published a collection of short stories The House in Baiting Hollow (2015), two books of essays The Gertrude Stein Memorial Cultural and Recreation Park (2006) and Horn of Plenty(2011), and two plays Coney Island (2006) and Bitch/Beach Generation (2007). He has also translated Zbigniew Herbert’s and Janusz Szuber’s poetry from Polish into Ukrainian, and edited an anthology of young Ukrainian poets from the 1990’s. Makhno’s work has been widely translated, and volumes of his selected poems, essays and short stories were published in Israel, Poland, Romania, Serbia and the USA. He is the 2013 recipient of Serbia’s Povele Morave Prize in Poetry and the BBC Book of the Year Award 2015. Makhno currently lives in New York City.