In 2021, the world commemorates the 80th anniversary of the massacres of Jews at Babyn Yar. The present collection brings together for the first time the responses to the tragic events of September 1941 by Ukrainian Jewish and non-Jewish poets of the Soviet and post-Soviet periods, presented here in the original and in English translation by Ostap Kin and John Hennessy. Written between 1941 and 2018 by over twenty poets, these poems belong to different literary canons, traditions, and time frames, while their authors come from several generations. Together, the poems in Babyn Yar: Ukrainian Poets Respond create a language capable of portraying the suffering and destruction of the Ukrainian Jewish population during the Holocaust as well as other peoples murdered at the site.
Remind[s] the reading public of not only the necessity of remembering history and taking a stand against evil, but also about the necessity of poetry as witness during a time of great atrocity.
Temporally and stylistically expansive, Babyn Yar keeps company with other recent poetry that confronts the costs of war and genocide: Solmaz Sharif’s Look, Monica Sok’s A Nail the Evening Hangs On, and Ilya Kaminsky’s Deaf Republic. Each poetic work catalogs grief intimately in the aftermath of political violence. That the Russia–Ukraine War is ongoing at the time of this writing infuses the anthology with a terrible urgency.
- 288 pages
- 5 x 8 inches
- Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute
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