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Serhiy Zhadan
""Serhiy Zhadan 2015.jpg
Serhiy Zhadan, 2015, "Wrocław
Born Сергі́й Ві́кторович Жада́н
(1974-08-23) 23 August 1974 (age 43)
"Starobilsk, "Luhansk Oblast, "Soviet Ukraine
Nationality "Ukrainian
Alma mater "Kharkiv University
Occupation poet, novelist, translator

Serhiy Viktorovych Zhadan ("Ukrainian: Сергі́й Ві́кторович Жада́н; born 23 August 1974) is a "Ukrainian poet, novelist, essayist, and translator.


Life and career[edit]

Zhadan was born in "Starobilsk, "Luhansk Oblast in "Ukraine. He graduated from "H.S. Skovoroda Kharkiv National Pedagogical University in 1996 with a thesis on the work of Mykhail Semenko and the Ukrainian Futurist writers of the 1920s. He then spent three years as a graduate student of philology, and taught "Ukrainian and world literature from 2000 to 2004. Since then he has worked as a freelance writer.

Zhadan is an internationally known Ukrainian writer, with 12 books of poetry and 7 novels, and winner of more than a dozen literary awards. In March 2008, the Russian translation of his novel Anarchy in the UKR made the shortlist of the National Bestseller Prize. It was also a contender for "Book of the Year" at the 2008 Moscow International Book Exhibition. In 2009 he won the Joseph Conrad-Korzeniowski Literary Prize. In 2012 Gunshot and Knife won Ukrainian rating "Book of the Year" for fiction. His 2010 novel Voroshylovhrad won him the Jan Michalski Prize for Literature in Switzerland, BBC Ukrainian's “Book of the Decade” award and Brücke Berlin Prize. His selected poems Dynamo Kharkiv won Ukrainian “Book of the Year.” (2014) His book Mesopotamia won the Angelus literature prize in 2015, the Award of the President of Ukraine "Ukrainian Book of the Year" in 2016.

Zhadan has translated poetry from German, English, "Belarusian, and "Russian, from such poets as "Paul Celan and "Charles Bukowski. His own works have been translated into German, English, Estonian, French, Italian, Swedish, Norwegian, "Polish, "Serbian, "Croatian, "Lithuanian, Latvian, Belarusian, Russian,[1] "Hungarian, "Armenian, and "Czech.

Theater and Multimedia projects[edit]

His novel Anthem of Democratic Youth has been adapted for the stage and performed at the Ivan Franko National Academic Drama Theater in Kyiv. Since 2004 he has worked with Yara Arts Group form La MaMa Experimental Theatre in New York, contributing to the shows: "Koliada: Twelve Dishes" (2005), "Underground Dreams"(2013-2014), "Hitting Bedrock" (2015) and "1917-2017: Tychyna, Zhadan and the Dogs," (2016-2017).

His poems “Spy,” “Chaplain” and “Needle,” translated by Tkacz and Phipps were part of "Blind Spot," an installation by Mykola Ridnyi and Serhii Zhadan for the Ukrainian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale May–July, 2015 See photos [1]

Music projects[edit]

Zhadan collaborated with Kharkiv-based music band "Luk. Most of Luk's Ukrainian-language songs included lyrics based on works by Zhadan (in particular the first album Tourist zone is based on Zhadan's play "Merry Christmas, Jesus Christ").

The tribute album Khor monholskykh militsioneriv (Mongol policemen choir) was released in 2008. The songs include lyrics by Zhadan, performed by Kharkiv musicians.

Since 2007, Zhadan has collaborated with another Kharkiv band "Sobaky v Kosmosi, now known as Zhadan and the Dogs. They released the albums — The Army Sports Club (Sportyvny Klub Armiyi, 2008), Weapons of the Proletatiat (Zbroya Proletariatu, 2012), Fight for Her (Byisya za neyi, 2012) and Dogs (Sobaky, 2016).

Political Activism[edit]

Serhiy Zhadan at "Rock for change" rally in Kharkiv, 2013

Zhadan’s active involvement in Ukrainian Independence began while a student and has continued throughout the various political crisis in Ukraine. He participated in the 2004 Orange Revolution demonstrations against corruption and voter intimidation in the presidential run-off elections. The protests resulted in a revote ordered by Ukraine’s Supreme Court. In 2013 he was a member of the coordination council of Euromaidan Kharkiv, part of the nationwide protests and violent clashes with police.[2][3] The 5 day Maidan revolution resulted in resignation of Russian backed President Yanukovych. In 2014, he was assaulted outside the administration building in Kharkiv.[4]

Since 2014 Zhadan has made numerous visits to the front lines of the Eastern Donbas region involved in armed conflict with Russian separatists. In February 2017 he co-founded Serhiy Zhadan Charitable Foundation to provide humanitarian aid to front-line cities.

Critical reception[edit]

Rostislav Melnikov and Yuriy Tsaplin of the New Literary Review wrote in 2007:

Zhadan's prose is so poetic, his free verse so prosaic. It is difficult to assign a genre to his work: memoir, travelogue, timely or untimely meditation - or a mixture of all these, centered on the themes my generation and our epoch.[5]

Kirill Ankudinov, writing for Vzglyad.ru in June 2008, said:

There is no summarizing the spicy, hot, sweet, vicious improvisations of Serhiy Zhadan - this is verbal jazz. When you read him, you fear for contemporary "Russian literature: of those now writing in the Russian language, there is none among them who is so infernally free (and above all, free from "writerly" prose, from the tendency to "produce an impression").[6]

Poetry in English translations[edit]

English-language articles about Zhadan[edit]





Anthologized poetry[edit]



  1. ^ Balla, Olga (1 November 2016). "Тяжелые соты письма" (in Russian). Colta. Retrieved 5 November 2016. 
  2. ^ McGrane, Sally (8 March 2014). "The Abuse of Ukraine's Best-Known Poet". The New Yorker. Retrieved 12 March 2014. 
  3. ^ "Ukraine activists swap Lenin for Lennon". BBC. 23 December 2013. 
  4. ^ Maksymiuk, Jan; Bigg, Claire (11 March 2014). "Ukraine's Rock Star Poet Who Chose To Fight Back". "Radio Free Europe. Retrieved 12 March 2014. 
  5. ^ Melnikov, Rostislav; Tsaplin, Yuriy (2007). "Northeast of the Southwest: The Contemporary Literature of Kharkiv". The New Literary Review, #85. 
  6. ^ Ankudinov, Kirill (5 June 2008). "Adventures in April". Vzglyad. 
  7. ^ Brack, Joëlle (28 November 2014). "Prix Jan Michalski 2014". Payot Libraire. Retrieved 29 November 2014. 
  8. ^ "BBC Ukrainian Book of the Year 2014 and Book of the Decade winners named". "The Financial. 13 December 2014. 
  9. ^ "Serhij Żadan!!! -". angelus.com.pl. Retrieved 20 April 2018. 
  10. ^ Булкина, Инна. "Кроме Нобеля: Ангелус и другие" (in Russian). Gefter. Retrieved 16 December 2015. 
  11. ^ "Ukrainian writer won prestigious Polish award Angelus". Retrieved 2017-12-26. 

External links[edit]

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