Osadchy, Mykhailo

Image - Mykhailo Osadchy

Osadchy, Mykhailo [Осадчий, Михайло; Osadčyj, Myxajlo], b 22 March 1936 in Kurmany, now in Nedryhailiv raion, Sumy oblast, d 5 July 1994 in Lviv. Poet, writer, and dissident; honorary member of the Swiss section of the PEN International Association of Poets, Playwrights, Editors, Essayists, and Novelists from 1979. He graduated with a degree in journalism from Lviv University (1958), where he taught (1960–5) and then completed postgraduate studies (1965). He became active in the Ukrainian dissident movement in the mid-1960s. Osadchy was arrested in 1965 for anti-Soviet activity and sentenced in 1966 to two years' imprisonment. In 1972 he was arrested again and sentenced to seven years of strict-regime labor camp and three years of exile. He served his term in concentration camps in the Mordovian Autonomous Republic and was exiled to the Komi ASSR. His first collection of poetry, Misiachne pole (The Moonlit Field, 1965), was published before his arrest. His works were subsequently proscribed in the Ukrainian SSR, but his account of life in Soviet prisons, Bil’mo (Cataract, 1971), was published in the West and was translated into English (1976), French, and German. Other collections of his poetry include Quos ego (1979) and Skyts’kyi oltar (The Scythian Altar, 1990). Osadchy returned to teaching at Lviv University in the fall of 1990, and in the spring of 1992 he became a member of the Writers’ Union of Ukraine. In 1993 Yrii (Warm South Regions) the first book of his poetry to be published in Ukraine, appeared in Lviv. Mykola Kholodny’s biography of Osadchy appeared in 1996 and in 2001 a collection of the poet’s scholarly and journalistic works was published as Ukrainotsentryzm (Ukrainocentrism).

[This article was updated in 2014.]

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