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Prominent Ukrainian author to speak at KU

Friday, March 11, 2016

LAWRENCE – The Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies (CREES) has organized a special lecture by noted Ukrainian novelist, essayist and poet Yuri Andrukhovych.

The lecture, which will feature readings of Andrukhovych’s work as well as a chance to ask questions of the author, will be 7 p.m.  Monday, March 21, in the Malott Room of the Kansas Union. The lecture is free and open to the public. Copies of his books will be available for purchase and signing afterward.

“We are honored and excited to bring Yuri Andrukhovych, one of Ukraine’s leading writers, to KU,” said CREES Director Vitaly Chernetsky. “His strong voice as a public intellectual has had significant international impact. Andrukhovych’s op-eds have been featured in the world’s leading media, including The New York Times. The lecture by this bold and insightful writer is sure to be of great interest to the wider community both at KU and the region, and we are proud that KU is one of the few stops he will make on his tour of the United States, which includes talks at Columbia, Harvard and Penn State.”

Andrukhovych is one of the most prominent writers in Ukraine today. He published his first book of poetry in 1985. That same year, along with Oleksandr Irvanets and Viktor Neborak, he co-founded the Bu-Ba-Bu poetic group, which stands for burlesk, balahan, bufonada — “burlesque, side show, buffoonery.” This informal group played a key role in the literary culture of Ukraine in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Its members continue to be active today.

Since 1985 he has published three more poetry collections and five novels: “Recreations,” “The Moscoviad,” “Perverzion,” “Twelve Circles” and “Mystery: Instead of a Novel.” He also has published numerous short stories, essays and literary translations from English, German, Polish and Russian.

Born in 1960 in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine, Andrukhovych graduated from the Department of Editing at the Ukrainian Academy of Printing in Lviv, and he later studied at the Maxim Gorky Literary Institute in Moscow.

His translations from English include an anthology of Beat and New York School poets (2006) and acclaimed new renditions of “Hamlet” and “Romeo and Juliet.” His activities are not limited to the literary realm, as he took an active role in both the Orange Revolution and the recent Maidan protests and subsequent revolution in Kyiv.

Andrukhovych’s most recent book, “Twelve Circles,” was translated from the Ukrainian by KU’s Chernetsky.

He has received numerous international awards, including the Herder Prize, the Erich Maria Remarque Peace Prize, the Leipzig Book Fair Prize for European Understanding, the Angelus Prize for Central European Literature, and the 2014 Hannah Arendt Prize.

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