You are currently viewing Thursday evening: A Field of Foundlings – Iryna Starovoyt

Thursday evening: A Field of Foundlings – Iryna Starovoyt

  • Date: Thursday May 19
  • Time: 19:30-20:30 (20:30-21:30 UAT)
  • YouTube Live: linke available here
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Tonight we shift our view to Ukrainian literature and poetry as a lens on Ukraine as a nation, the war, and Ukraine’s past and future. The crossroad of war, nation, victory, liberation and suffering has always been the dramatic background for some of the greatest works in literature and poetry.

We only have to think of Tolstoy’s War and Peace, of T.S. Eliot’s Wasteland, Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls or Steven Ambrose’s Band of Brothers. Poetry and literature is particularly suitable for articulating the ambivalent, tragic and traumatic, heroic and devastating experiences of war.

The birth of Ukraine as a nation is closely connected with the emancipation of Ukraine as a national language, starting from Taras Shevchenko’s – ‘the serf who founded ad nation’ – Kobzar in 1840. Since Ukraine’s independence in 1991 a gifted generation of poets and writers, like Serhiy Zhadan, Yurii Andrukhovych, Oksana Zabuzhko, and Iryna Starovoyt entered the Ukrainian literary scene. Their writing is closely connected with Ukraine becoming a self-conscious nation in the last three decades. Their poetic imagination not only reflects Ukraines fate and future, but also shapes the Ukrainian ethos. In a series of conversations with Ukrainian writers and poets we will explore a range of questions related to ‘the war’. In that we also want to shed light on the unique contribution of Ukrainian writers and poets of today to world literature. A contribution which deserves to be heard and read.

Tonight we have as our guest Iryna Starovoyt. Iryna Starovoyt is a poet, essayist, and Associate Professor of Cultural Studies at the Ukrainian Catholic University. Born in Lviv she made her poetry debut with the book No Longer Limpid (1997). In 2017 her A Field of Foundlings was published in English by Lost Horse Press. Reading from A Field of Foundlings Iryna will explore with us the particular character of this new generation of Ukrainian poets and the questions of war, language and nationhood.

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