Pelenska, Iryna

Pelenska, Iryna [Пеленська, Ірина; Pelens'ka] (pseud: Ірина Винницька; Iryna Vynnytska), b 6 November 1906 in Hrabovets, Stryi county, Galicia, d 4 January 1990 in Detroit, Michigan, USA. Writer and community figure; wife of Yevhen Yulii Pelensky. She studied at Lviv University (1933). In the years 1925–39 she was active in the Plast Ukrainian Youth Association, student organizations, and the Prosvita society in Galicia. She contributed prose, literary essays, and articles to periodicals there and wrote the novelettes Khrystyna (1940) and Muzyka (Music, 1944; 2nd edn 1954). As a postwar émigré in Germany she published the novelette Kam’iana sokyra (The Stone Ax, 1947; rev edn 1967) and the story collection Horikhove lushpynnia (Nutshells, 1948). After emigrating to Sydney in the late 1940s, she became a founding member and the president of the Ukrainian Women's Association in Australia (1949–56, 1959–62), a member of the executive of the Federation of Ukrainian Organizations in Australia (1951–62), and vice-president of the Australian chapter of the Shevchenko Scientific Society (1956–62). She also owned and ran a publishing company (1956–62) and contributed prose to Ukrainian-Australian periodicals. After moving to the United States in 1962, she was secretary of the Ukrainian National Women's League of America, a member of the executive of the World Federation of Ukrainian Women's Organizations (SFUZhO), and, until 1982, editor of the SFUZhO organ Ukraïnka v sviti. From 1970 she headed the World Preschool Council of the World Congress of Free Ukrainians.

Roman Senkus

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]

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