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The poems in this debut English-language collection meditate on the changing sense of reality, temporality, mortality, and intimacy in the face of a catastrophic event. While some of the poems have been composed in the months preceding the full-scale invasion of the poet’s homeland, others have emerged in its wake. Navigating between a chronicle, a chorus, and a collage, Still City reflects the lived experiences of liminality with urgency and intensity, offering different perspectives on the war and its aftermath. The collection engages a wide range of sources, including social media posts, news reports, witness accounts, recorded oral histories, photographs, drone video footage, intercepted communications, official documents, and songs, making sense of the transformations that war affects in individuals, families, and communities. Now ecstatic, now cathartic, these poems shine a light on survival, mourning, and hope through moments of terror and awe.

Praise for STILL CITY

'Maksymchuk’s tense lyric pieces, their judicious line breaks, their silences, lend themselves admirably to the psychological contradictions of conflict: the earlier poems in Still City reflect on the incredulous modern European sensibility, faced with something as ancient and unyielding as military brutality; and on the surprising adaptability of this modern sensibility, as it sloughs off its peacetime habits and begins to count the costs of survival. Maksymchuk, a teacher of philosophy as well as a poet, is accustomed to scrutinizing the making of thought and has an enviable gift for communicating in images the psychological state of a person being slowly drawn into the state of war: the fleeting impulses, the private arguments with oneself, the stages of acceptance, and the knowledge that this acceptance of the possibility of death and destruction in itself feels like a corruption of the soul, a de-civilising. As soon as we imagine our cities under fire and their human networks attenuated and destroyed, something has changed in our souls, a change that touches poetic language like an electric shock so that even the word ‘soul’ swerves ‘like an atom’ travelling through a void. The real and present becomes vague and contingent, only the plausibility of the bullet, the rocket, the ending, is a certainty.'

— Sasha Dugdale

Poetry collections in translation

The Voices of Babyn Yar is a bilingual collection of poems dedicated to the Babyn Yar massacre of 1941. Artful and carefully intoned, the poems present the experiences of ordinary civilians from a first-person perspective to an effect that is simultaneously immersive and estranging. Conceived as a tribute to the fallen, the book also raises challenging questions about memory, responsibility, and honoring those who had witnessed an evil that, some may say, verges on the unspeakable.

Read our translators' introduction to Marianna Kiyanovska, The Voices of Babyn Yar. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute/Harvard University Press, 2022.
Apricots of Donbas­ is a bilingual collection of poetry by Lyuba Yakimchuk, one of Ukraine’s most distinguished younger poets. 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. 

Read our introduction to Lyuba Yakimchuk, Apricots of Donbas. Sandpoint: Lost Horse Press, 2021.
How does one find words to write about war? The anthology Words for War: New Poems from Ukraine brings together some of the most compelling poetic voices from different regions of Ukraine. Young and old, female and male, somber and ironic, tragic and playful, filled with extraordinary terror and ordinary human delights, the voices recreate the human sounds of war in its tragic complexity.

Read our editorial preface to Words for War: New Poems from Ukraine. Boston: Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute/Academic Studies Press, 2017.

Praise for Words for War

Stephanie Sandler

Harvard University

"We necessarily come to these poems in a time of war, and that war’s grotesque political dimensions and endless violence are painfully felt on these pages. But these are poems that should command our attention even in a time of peace, should it ever come to our troubled planet: these are poems in which the spirit of creative imagination, free expression, emotional clarity, and ethical courage reigns supreme."



Words for War

Steve Moyer, "Ukrainian Poetry Has Been Speaking to the Experience of War for Years," Humanities 43.7, Summer 2022.

Ian Ross Singleton, review of Words for WarAsymptote, April 21, 2022.

Robert Clarke, review of Words for WarCulture and Dialogue 10.1 (2022): 95-98.

Roman Ivashkiv, review of Words for War, East/West: Journal of Ukrainian Studies 6 (2019): 217-220.

Maria Rewakowicz, review of Words for War  and The White Chalk of Days, Slavic Review 77. 4 (2018): 1025-1031.

Josephine von Zitzewitz, review of Words for War, Slavic and East European Journal 62.4 (2018): 777-778.

Sophie Pinkham, “Decomposition of Words: Poetry vs Propaganda in Ukraine,” featuring a review of Words for War, The Times Literary Supplement, June 22, 2018. 

Highlighted, featured, or recommended by publications including The New York Times, The Paris Review, LitHub,The National Translation Month, NYMag, and many others.

Performances, readings, and events focused on poems from Words for War include the Royal Court Theater (2017, 2022),  London Design Biennale, and over three dozen university and public venues.

Apricots of Donbas

Elizabeth Jones, review of Apricots of Donbas by Lyuba Yakimchuk, EuropeNow, February 21, 2023.


Gabriella Reznowski, review of Apricots of Donbas by Lyuba Yakimchuk, Slavic and East European Information Resources, 23.4 (2022): 474-475.

Jeremy Ray Jewell, Dreaming Orchards of Hope in Ukraine’s 'Wild East', The Smart Set: A Journal of Arts and Culture, April 7, 2022.


Julian Evans, “Shards of Language: Dispatches from the Donbas,” featuring a review of Apricots of Donbas by Lyuba Yakimchuk, The Times Literary Supplement, February 18, 2022.

Maria Rewakowicz, review of Apricots of Donbas by Lyuba Yakimchuk, Los Angeles Review of Books, February 2022.

Layla Benitez-James, review of Apricots of Donbas by Lyuba Yakimchuk, Poetry Foundation, November 2021.

Highlighted, featured, or recommended by publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Coda Story, Medium, The New Statesman, LitHub, The National Translation Month, The National Poetry Month, Academy of American Poets, Tablet Mag, and many others.


Performances, readings, and events focused on poems from Apricots of Donbas include the Grammy Awards Ceremony (April 3, 2022), Words Without Borders Gala, and over three dozen literary festivals and university and public venues.

The Voices of Babyn Yar

Askold Melnyczuk, “Bearing Witness: Reimagining in Poetry the Victims of the Babyn Yar Massacre,” The Times Literary Supplement, September 30, 2022.

Amelia Glaser, “We All Died Again in Babyn Yar,” The Jewish Renaissance, Spring 2022.

Winner of the 2023 AAUS Translation Prize, American Association for Ukrainian Studies. 

Noted by the jury: "Oksana Maksymchuk and Max Rosochinsky’s translations are English-language poems in their own right. Their translations read grounded and authentic; the language is textured and fine-tuned. Of significance is this collection’s contribution to the multi-faceted voices—or “transmissions” as specified by the translators in their preface— of origin which bear witness. Add to that their haunting, evocative power and the general importance of the subject matter makes for an excellent choice" (Dzvinia Orlowsky, Ali Kinsella, Olga Livshin).

Highlighted, featured, or recommended by venues including CBC, BBC, Orion Magazine, and others. 

Performances, readings, and events focused on poems from The Voices of Babyn Yar include the 2019 PEN World Voices Festival, 2022 Zbigniew Herbert Award Ceremony, and over a dozen university and public venues.


Lovy. Kyiv: Smoloskyp Press, 2008

Lovy. Kyiv: Smoloskyp Press, 2008

Introduction by Kost Moskalets 

Art by Ivan Marchuk

read selections


Поезія Оксани Максимчук пізнає світ у його перетіканнях, притягуваннях та відштовхуваннях. Видиме — знак прихованого. Міфологічне повсюдно присутнє. Витончене, інтригуюче поєднання недомовленого і явленого в мові. Шляхетна тональність, стримане інтонування.


                                     —Віктор Неборак


Поетичний світ Оксани Максимчук перебуває у процесі становлення та самотворення: із перепадами голосу і віддиху, із напливами й скрешеннями різнорівневих і різнопорядкових образів, —  і в цьому його особливий, своїстий чар: читача тут запрошують напряму долучитись до одної з найцікавіших культурних таємниць на землі —  народження поета.


                                     —Оксана Забужко

Xenia. Lviv: Pyramid Publishers, 2005

Xenia. Lviv: Piramida Publishers, 2005

Introduction by Valeriy Shevchuk

Art by Ivan Ostafiychuk

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Дивуюся, як ця юна поетка буквально за рік-два вирвалась з тугої інтимно-еротичної оболонки у широко манливий світ неосяжної душі — усіх почувань, переживань, мрій, стверджуючи, що він і є світом поезії. А завдяки таланту це і вводить поетку в контекст як класичної, так і модерної нашої поезії.
                                            —Ігор Калинець


Найцінніші дарунки, «ксенії», ще античність наголошувала, — поетичні. Мірою цінності й у «Ксеніях» Оксани Максимчук є те, що визріває з любові, — сердечність, щирість, щедрість таланту: вміння дивитися очима душі, а побаченому, це вже Божий дар, давати нове життя — у Слові. Такий талант, у парі з працею, обіцяє нові гостинці («ксеній» — знак гостинності), що так потрібні спраглому душевного тепла й світла нинішньому світові.
                                            —Андрій Содомора

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