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Serhiy Zhadan

Serhiy Zhadan

Serhiy Zhadan

(Ukraine, 1974)
Serhiy Zhadan is the most popular poet of the post-independence generation in Ukraine. His work speaks to the disillusionment, difficulties and ironies that the collapse of the Soviet Union has brought, and his readings fill large auditoriums. Originally the enfant terrible of Ukrainian letters, Serhij Zhadan, now in his thirties, is considered the most important poet of the decade and even one of the leading voices of the last century.
Serhij Zhadan was born on 23 August 1974 in the Luhanask region of eastern Ukraine, an area of the country that is rarely viewed as Ukrainian-speaking. “Where do poets come from,” asks Yuri Amdrukhovych, Ukraine’s best-known prose writer, “especially in our brutal land where the abyss between them and the rest of the people is way beyond existential? What gives rise to the necessity to speak in verse in a place where regular language is no longer heard?”

The Bowery Poetry Club presented a bilingual evening featuring Zhadan’s poetry when he was in New York. “Serhij Zhadan’s imaginings,” wrote Bob Homan, poet, critic and proprietor of the club, “are an x-ray that sees through the flesh of now into the bones of the past, somehow observed from a vantage point in the future, hovering above the earth. How Ukrainian is it, how revelatory of the US it is, how Universal are his innocents and ironists. It is thrilling to have a young voice from the interior of Europe have a word with us, which is exactly how these translations feel. These poems are the illuminations of hope.”

Serhij Zhadan graduated from the Kharkiv Teacher’s College with a thesis on the work of Mykhail Semenko and the Ukrainian Futurist writers of the 1920s. He currently lives in Kharkiv and writes poetry, prose and essays and also translates from German, Belarusian and Russian. He has also written several theatre pieces that have been staged in Kharkiv and at La MaMa Experimental Theatre in New York. His work has been translated into Armenian, Belarusian, Croatian, Czech, English, German, Hungarian, Italian, Lithuanian, Polish, Serbian and Slovenian.
© Virlana Tkacz

Rozhevyy degenerat (Rose Degenerate), 1993
Tsytatnyk (Quotations), Smoloskyp, Kyiv, 1995; Folio, Kharkiv, 2005
Heneral Iuda (General Judas), Kyiv, 1995
Pepsi, Kharkiv, 1998
the very, very best poems, psychedelic stories of fighting and other bullshit (selected poems 1992–2000), Donetsk, 2000
Balady pro viynu i vidbudovu (Ballads about War and Reconstruction), AUP, Lviv, 2001
Istoriia kultury pochatku stolittia (History of Culture at the Turn of This Century), Krytyka, Kiev, 2003
Maradona, Folio, Kharkiv, 2007
Efiopiia (Ethiopia), Folio, Kharkiv, 2009
Lili Marlen (Lili Marlene) Folio, Kharkiv, 2009


Bih Mak (Big Mac), Krytyka, Kyiv, 2003
Depesh Mod (Depeche Mode) Folio, Kharkiv, 2004
Anarchy in the UKR, Folio, Kharkiv, 2005
Himn demokratychnoi molodi (Hymn of the Democratic Youth), Folio, Kharkiv, 2006
Voroshilovgrad, Folio, Kharkiv, 2010

Selected works

Kapital (Capital), Folio, Kharkiv, 2006
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Lira fonds
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère