Holoborodko, Vasyl

Image - Vasyl Holoborodko (2000s). Image - Vasyl Holoborodko

Holoborodko, Vasyl [Holoborod’ko, Vasyl’], b 7 April 1945 in the vilage of Adrianopil, Perevalsk raion, in Luhansk oblast. (Photo: Vasyl Holoborodko.) Poet. In 1964 several of his poems appeared in the literary periodicals Literaturna Ukraïna and Dnipro, after which he fell into official disfavor and was no longer published in Ukraine despite accolades by Ivan Dziuba and other critics on the uniqueness and freshness of his imagery and poetic vision. In 1967 he was expelled from Donetsk University for disseminating Dziuba’s book Internationalism or Russification? Subsequently, he was stationed as a soldier in the Far East, and after his return to Adrianopil, he worked as a miner and labourer. Holoborodko's unique poetic voice draws its power from a metaphorical rendering of reality in images striking by their quality of child-like magic, wonder, and naïvete. His vision of the world is through the prism of innocence. Four manuscript collections of his poems were smuggled to the West and published together in Paris in 1970 under the title Letiuche vikontse (The Flying Window). His poems began to appear again in Ukrainian periodicals after the declaration of glasnost and perestroika in 1985. His first poetry collection to be published in Ukraine, Zelen den’ (A Green Day, 1988), was highly praised by Ivan Dziuba. It was followed by Ikar na metelykovykh krylakh (An Icarus with Butterly Wings, 1990) and Kalyna ob Rizdvo (A Viburnum Tree on Christmas, 1992). Holoborodko was awarded the Shevchenko Prize in 1994. A book of his poetry inspired by folk songs and accompanied by his theoretical study of folk customs of match-making in Ukrainian folk fairy tales was published in Luhansk in 2002 under the title Soloveiku, svatku, svatku... (Nigthingale, You Match-Maker...). In 2006, a volume of his selected writings was published under the title My idemo (We Are Going On).

Marko Robert Stech

[This article was updated in 2007.]




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