Bilotserkivets Natalka

Natalka Bilotserkivets

Ukrainian poet, translator, and essayist. Originally from Eastern Ukraine (the Sumy region), she graduated from the Kyiv National University (M.A. in Philology) and worked as an editor at the Molod Publishers and, eventually, in the Ukrainska Kultura monthly. Since 2010, she is a free-lancer. She translated into Ukrainian, most prominently, Cesar Vallejo and Czesław Miłosz, and published essays on Jean-Paul Sartre, J. D. Salinger, Patrick Süskind, Herman Hesse, Yuri Trifonov, and Otar Chiladze. Her major work, however, is poetry, translated into several languages (primarily English, Polish, and German), and distinguished with many national and international awards. She penned seven collections of poetry, including:

Ballad about the Invincibles (Балада про нескорених, 1976);

In the Country of my Heart (У країні мого серця, 1979);

The Underground Fire (Підземний вогонь, 1984);

November (Листопад, 1989);

Allegry (Алергія, 1999);

Central Hotel (Готель Централь, 2004);

We Shall Die Not in Paris (Ми помрем не в Парижі, 2016).

And a collection of literary criticism – In the Context of the Epoch (У контексті епохи, 1990).

The book-length selections of her poetry were published in Poland, translated by Bohdan Zadura (Róża i nóż, 2009), and in the U.K., translated by James Brasfield et al. (Subterranean Fire, 2021).

Other translation into foreign languages include:

Six Poems. Translated by Andrew Sorokowski. Peacock Journal, May 2018;

Twelve poems, translated into English by Michael M.Naydan, Trafika Europe Quarterly, no. 7, 2016,

Ce n’est pas à Paris que nous mourrons [a poem and a short essay, in French], Contreligne, janvier 2015,

En un sunbterraneo [three poems, in Spanish], in Fernando Sabido Sanchez (ed.), Poetas siglio XXI,

Das hinkende Entlein [essay], in Grenzverkehr III. Aufbruch – wohin? Ed. by Annemarie Turk. – Wien–Klahenfurt: Drava, 2012.

Three poems, translated into English by Michael M.Naydan. – International Poetry Review, Special Issue: Twenty-Five Years of Ukrainian Poetry. No.2, Fall 2010.

“Hotel Central” [a poem], translated into English by Michael Naydan, in Wayne Miller & Kevin Prufer (eds.), New European Poets. – Saint Paul: Graywolf Press, 2008.

“Lame Duckling”, “That life…”, “Knife”, “Love in Kyiv”, translated by Olena Jennings, International Poetry Review, Vol. 33, No. 2, Fall 2007.

Twelve poems, translated into German, in Hans Thill (Hrsg.), Vorwarts, Ihr Kampfschildkroten. Gedichte aus der Ukraine. – Heidelberg: Wunderhorn, 2006.

“Herbstliches Meer”, a poem, translated into German by Hans Thill, in Kevin Perryman und Lojze Wiezer (Hrsg.), Europa Erlesen. Zwischen Fels und Nebel. – Klagenfurt: Wieser Verlag, 2006.

Seven poems, translated into English by Michael Naydan, Olena Jennings, and Dzvinia Orlowski, foreword by Andriy Bondar. – Poetry International, October 2003;

Six poems, in Zweiter Anlauf. Ukrainishe Literatur heute. Herausgegeben von Karin Warter und Alois Woldan. – Passau: Verlag Karl Stutz, 2004.

Four poems, translated into Dutch by Gerard Rash. – Hotel Parnassus [Amsterdam/Antwerpen], 117 gedichten, uit 20 talen, 2002.

“A 100 Years of Youth”, translated by M.Naydan (rpt), Agni, 56, Fall 2002. [The best of Agni – Thirtieth Anniversary Poetry Anthology].

“Night Planes”, a poem, translated by Michael Naydan, in Dasha Nisula (ed.), Leading Contemporary Poets: An International Anthology. – Western Michigan U. Press, 1997.

Six poems, translated into English by Michael Naydan et al., in Ed Hogan et al. (eds.), From Three Worlds. New Writing from Ukraine. – Boston: Zephyr Press, 1996.

“May” [a long poem about the 1986 Chornobyl disaster], translated into English by Virlana Tkacz and Wanda Phipps. – Agni (Boston), 34, Fall 1991. Awarded eventually as the best translation by Agni and Boston University, and staged as the core text of Yara Group’s original theatre piece “Explosions” at La MaMa Experimental Theatre in New York, 1992.

Song lyrics (in Ukrainian):

We Shall Die Not in Paris, by Dead Rooster,

Broken Flower, by Jalapita.