Columbia University in the City of New York

Harriman Institute

Image of Averbuch's book. Image links to event page.



Songs of Rage and Hope: A Poetry Reading and Conversation with Alex Averbuch
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Please join the Ukrainian Studies Program at the Harriman Institute for a poetry reading and conversation with Alex Averbuch. Moderated by Mark Andryczyk.

Alex Averbuch will read, in the original Ukrainian and in English translation, from his latest book Zhydivsky korol (The Jewish King), a 2023 finalist for the Shevchenko National Prize, Ukraine’s highest award for culture and literature), as well as new poems from his upcoming book, and answer questions from the audience. Averbuch’s poetry deals with interwoven Jewish-Ukrainian relations, issues of ethnic fragmentation and in-betweenness, multiple identities, queerness, cross- and multilingualism, documentalist writing, and memory. Unsettling but ultimately liberatory de-specifications of ethnos, language, and sexuality relieve trigger-points in Ukraine’s history through the confessional intimacy of family, shame, pleasure, and the reconciliation of self and other.

Alex Averbuch, a poet, translator, and scholar, is the author of three books of poetry and an array of literary translations between Hebrew, Ukrainian, English, and Russian. English translations of his poems have appeared in the Manhattan ReviewCopper NickelPlumeBirmingham Poetry ReviewWords Without BordersSugar House Review, Constellations, and Common Knowledge. Averbuch is active in promoting Ukrainian-Jewish relations. He has translated into Hebrew and published over thirty selections of poetry by contemporary Ukrainian poets. Currently he is compiling and editing an anthology of contemporary Ukrainian poetry in Hebrew translation. Averbuch is a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University’s Davis Center, and soon to be a research fellow at the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute. He has a PhD in Slavic Languages and Literatures and Jewish Studies from the University of Toronto.