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."

Reception

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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) and over three dozen university and public venues.

Apricots of Donbas

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 Lyuba Yakimchuk, Apricots of Donbas, Los Angeles Review of Books, February 2022.


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

Highlighted, featured, or recommended by publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, 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) and over a dozen 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.

Featured by venues including BBC and CBC radio networks.