All-Ukrainian Association of Proletarian Writers

Image - Zoria (Dnipropetrovsk) (1927).

All-Ukrainian Association of Proletarian Writers (Vseukrainska spilka proletarskykh pysmennykiv or VUSPP). Writers' organization founded in January 1927 for the declared purpose of a ‘decisive struggle for an international-class union of Ukraine's literature against bourgeois nationalism’ and the creation of a ‘proletarian constructive realism.’ Its actual task was to counteract such Ukrainian literary groups as Vaplite, the Neoclassicists, Lanka, and MARS, in whose work the Party detected ‘nationalist’ tendencies. VUSPP was a member of the All-Union Alliance of Associations of Proletarian Writers (VOAPP) in Moscow and had a Russian and a Jewish section. VUSPP published the journal Hart and Literaturna hazeta, while its branches published the journals Zoria (Dnipropetrovsk), Stapeli in Mykolaiv, Metalevi dni in Odesa, Zaboi in the Donbas, Krasnoe slovo, published by the Russian section, and Prolit, published by the Jewish section. Among VUSPP's numerous members (it favored ‘mass’ participation and in 1931 even called on ‘shock workers’ to join), the more important writers were Ivan Kulyk, Ivan Mykytenko, Ivan Kyrylenko, Volodymyr Koriak (the leaders of the organization), Ivan Le, Yakiv Savchenko, Dmytro Zahul, Mykola Tereshchenko, Mykhailo Dolengo, Volodymyr Sosiura, Leonid Pervomaisky, Yakiv Kachura, Kost O. Hordiienko, Nataliia Zabila, Sava Holovanivsky, Volodymyr Kuzmych, S. Zhyhalko, Yu. Zoria, Vitalii Chyhyryn, Pavlo Usenko, Leonid Smiliansky, Samiilo Shchupak, Hryhorii Ovcharov, Borys Kovalenko, and Mykola K. Novytsky. VUSPP's leaders strove to have it recognized as the writers’ organization closest to the Party. Hence VUSPP devoted all its energies to the political struggle against other literary groups, and no outstanding literary works were produced by VUSPP's members. In 1931, after the forced dissolution of the Prolitfront and the Nova Generatsiia groups, some of the members of these organizations joined VUSPP. The resolution of the Party's Central Committee of 23 April 1932 ‘On the Reconstruction of Literary and Artistic Organizations’ abolished VUSPP, as well as VOAPP and other similar literary organizations. In 1937–9 many former VUSPP members, including all its leaders, were arrested and deported to labor camps.

Mykola Hlobenko

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 1 (1984).]

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