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“Apricots of Donbas” new book of poetry by Ukrainian poet Lyuba Yakimchuk

we will walk back, even with bare feet
if we don’t find our home in the place where we left it
we will build another one in an apricot tree
out of luscious clouds, out of azure ether

 

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.

(…)

my friends are hostages
and I can’t reach them, I can’t do netsk
to pull them out of the basements
from under the rubble

yet here you are, writing poems
ideally slick poems
high-minded gilded poems
beautiful as embroidery

there’s no poetry about war
just decomposition
only letters remain
and they all make a single sound — rrr

(…)

Lyuba Yakimchuk from Decomposition,
translated from the Ukrainian by Oksana Maksymchuk and Max Rosochinsky

 

Lyuba Yakimchuk
is a poet, playwright, and screenwriter. Her two collections of poetry, Moda (2009) and Abrykosy Donbasu (2015) won prestigious awards, including the International Slavic Poetic Award (Ukraine) and the International Poetic Award of the Kovalev Foundation (USA). Since 2019, her play The Wall has been running at the Ivan Franko National Academic Drama Theater, the largest in Ukraine. She also authored the script for the film The Slovo House: An Unfinished Novel, reflecting on the literary life in the 1930’s Kharkiv. Born and raised in a small town near Luhansk, Yakimchuk now lives in Kyiv, Ukraine.

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 her complex emotional experiences, Yakimchuk’s poetry is versatile, ranging from sumptuous verses about the urgency of erotic desire in a war-torn city to imitations of childlike 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 go hand in hand with their authenticity, offering intimate glimpses into the story of a woman affected by a life-altering situation beyond her control.

# new poetry
APRICOTS OF DONBAS
poems by Lyuba Yakimchuk
Translated by Oksana Maksymchuk,
Max Rosochinsky & Svetlana Lavochkina
Oktober 2021
Paperback
166 pp
ISBN 978-1-7364323-1-0
Lost Horse Press
$30.00

• fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: #Modern Poetry Archive, - Book News, Archive Y-Z, Archive Y-Z, Art & Literature News, Yakimchuk, Lyuba

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