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The Voices of Babyn Yar

The Voices of Babyn Yar

Marianna Kiyanovska

Translated by Oksana Maksymchuk and Max Rosochinsky

ISBN 9780674268760

Publication date: 08/09/2022

“[A]n extraordinary work within the literary canon of the Holocaust.”  —Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for a Translation of a Literary Work

With The Voices of Babyn Yar—a collection of stirring poems by Marianna Kiyanovska—the award-winning Ukrainian poet honors the victims of the Holocaust by writing their stories of horror, death, and survival by projecting their own imagined voices. Artful and carefully intoned, the poems convey the experiences of ordinary civilians going through unbearable events leading to the massacre at Kyiv’s Babyn Yar from a first-person perspective to an effect that is simultaneously immersive and estranging. While conceived as a tribute to the fallen, the book raises difficult questions about memory, responsibility, and commemoration of those who had witnessed an evil that verges on the unspeakable.


  • There is no doubt that The Voices of Babyn Yar is destined to become a classic text in the Ukrainian canon. Will this poetry save nations or people? Of course not. But it will forever serve as a reminder of the human capacity for evil—a prompt we seem to require on a regular basis.

    —Askold Melnyczuk, Times Literary Supplement


  • 2023, Winner of the Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for a Translation of a Literary Work
  • 2023, Winner of the Peterson Literary Fund Translated Book Award


  • Marianna Kiyanovska is the author of more than a dozen books of poetry, prose, and literary translation and her works have been translated into eighteen languages. She received the 2022 Zbigniew Herbert International Literary Award. In 2020, Kiyanovska was recognized with the prestigious Taras Shevchenko Prize for The Voices of Babyn Yar. She was also awarded the 2013 Gloria Artis Medal for Merit to Culture in Poland.

Book Details

  • 192 pages
  • 5 x 8 inches
  • Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute
  • Introduction by Polina Barskova