Envisioning Ukrainian Literature 2019: Versions and Demarcations, Part II

Monday, October 7, 2019
Marshall D. Shulman Seminar Room, 1219 International Affairs Building (420 W 118th St)

Please join the Ukrainian Studies Program at the Harriman Institute for a panel moderated by Mark Andryczyk featuring Olena Jennings, Alexander J. Motyl, Dzvinia Orlowsky, and Irene Zabytko.

What are the different ways that Ukrainian literature can be defined in 2019? Literature written in the Ukrainian language? Literature written by citizens of Ukraine in any language? Literature written in Ukrainian outside of Ukraine? Literature written by Ukrainians living outside of Ukraine, in any language? Literature written about Ukrainians in any language? This event gathers a panel of writers and scholars to present their literary works and to discuss various ways of belonging to Ukrainian literature.

Olena Jennings is the author of Songs from an Apartment (Underground Books, 2017) and Memory Project (Underground Books, 2018.)  Her translations of Ukrainian poetry appear in the anthology Words for War (Academic Studies Press, 2017, in collaboration with Oksana Lutsyshyna), the anthology White Chalk of Days (Academic Studies Press, 2017,) Poetry International, and Wolf.   Her translations of Iryna Shuvalova’s poetry collection Pray to the Empty Wheels in collaboration with the author, will be released in fall 2019 by Lost Horse Press. She is 2018 recipient of a New Work Grant from the Queens Council of the Arts.  She is the curator of the Poets of Queens reading series.

Alexander J. Motyl (b. 1953, New York) is a writer, painter, and professor. Nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2008 and 2013, he is the author of nine novels, Whiskey PriestWho Killed Andrei WarholFlippancyThe Jew Who Was UkrainianMy OrchidiaSweet SnowFall RiverVovochkaArdor, and a collection of poetry, Vanishing Points. Motyl’s artwork has been shown in solo and group shows in New York City, Philadelphia, and Toronto and is part of the permanent collection of two museums. He teaches at Rutgers University-Newark and is the author of seven academic books and numerous articles. Motyl lives in New York City. His biography may be found on Wikipedia.

Ukrainian-American poet, editor, and translator, Dzvinia Orlowsky is a Pushcart prize recipient and founding editor (1993-2001) of Four Way Books.  She is author of six poetry collections published by Carnegie Mellon University Press including Convertible Night, Flurry of Stones (2009) for which she received a Sheila Motton Book Award; Silvertone (2013) for which she was named Ohio Poetry Day Association's 2014 Co-Poet of the Year, and her most recent, Bad Harvest published in October, 2018. Her first collection, A Handful of Bees, was reprinted in 2009 as part of the Carnegie Mellon University Classic Contemporary Series.  In 2006 House Between Water published her translation from Ukrainian of The Enchanted Desna by Alexander Dovzhenko.  Dzvinia’s work has appeared in numerous anthologies including Nasty Women Poets: An Unapologetic Anthology of Subversive Verse (Lost Horse Press, 2017); Nothing Short of 100: Selected tales from 100 Word Story (Outpost19, 2018); Plume Anthologies 2-6A Hundred Years of Youth: A Bilingual Anthology of 20th Century Ukrainian Poetry (Lviv, 2000); and From Three Worlds: New Writing from the Ukraine (Zephyr Press, 1996). Dzvinia teaches at the Solstice Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing of Pine Manor College, Providence College, and is founding director of “Night Riffs:  A Solstice Magazine Reading and Music Series.”

Irene Zabytko is a writer, filmmaker, and teacher. She has completed her 2016-2017 tenure as a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award in Ukraine where she was doing research on her next novel based on the life of the 19th century writer, Nikolai Gogol. While there, she was also the English translator for the forthcoming non-fiction book: Russia’s Hybrid Aggression: Lessons for the World  Yevhen Mahda (Kalamar Publishing House, Kyiv, Ukraine). Zabytko’s first book, The Sky Unwashed (Algonquin Books, 2000), is a novel about Chornobyl (Ukrainian transliteration) and the evacuees who returned to their irradiated villages. She is producing, writing and co-directing a documentary about the real life Chornobyl survivors called Life In the Dead Zone (www.lifeinthedeadzone.com), and has completed a related award winning film short, Epiphany At Chornobyl which was streamed world-wide throughout 2016 on The Culture Unplugged Film Festival (http://www.cultureunplugged.com/storyteller/Irene_Zabytko)Her second book, the short story collection When Luba Leaves Home (Algonquin Books, 2003) is based on the Ukrainian community in her Chicago neighborhood. Her latest book, The Fictions Prescription: How to Write and Improve Your Fiction Like the Great Literary Masters is a non-fiction collection of her lectures, techniques and wisdom for writing literary fiction and accompaniment for her online writing classes and blogs (“An American Writer in Ukraine”) featured on www.irenezabytko.com. Her academic credentials include an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Vermont College. She teaches fiction and creative non-fiction at Gotham Writers’ Workshop.

Mark Andryczyk, born in Philadelphia, USA, has a PhD in Ukrainian Literature from the University of Toronto (2005). His monograph The Intellectual as Hero in 1990s Ukrainian Fiction was published by the University of Toronto Press in 2012. A Ukrainian edition of that monograph, Intelektual iak heroi ukrains’koi prozy 90-kh rokiv XX stolittia was published by Piramida in 2014.  Since 2008, he has administrated the Ukrainian Studies Program at the Harriman Institute, Columbia University and has taught Ukrainian literature at its Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures. He is a translator of Ukrainian literature into English. In 2008-2017 he organized the Contemporary Ukrainian Literature Series (cosponsored by the Harriman and Kennan Institutes), which brought leading Ukrainian literary figures to audiences in North America. Andryczyk is editor and compiler of The White Chalk of Days, the Contemporary Ukrainian Literature Series Anthology (Academic Studies Press, 2017). He has translated eleven essays by Yuri Andrukhovych for the publication My Final Territory: Selected Essays (University of Toronto Press, 2018). Under the name Yeezhak, he has recorded three studio albums in Ukraine (1996, 1998, 2006) and has performed a series of concerts in support of these recordings, most recently at the Pidzemnyi Perekhid Vagabundo (Ivano-Frankivsk), in August 2019.