A series of meetings with prominent Ukrainian writers Serhiy Zhadan and Taras Prohasko takes place in Kiev, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk and Kharkiv on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th of November respectively, Meetings at the "Ye" book stores promote the Ukrainian edition of Czesław Miłosz's audiobook.
Prominent contemporary writers Serhiy Zhadan and Taras Prohasko lend their voices for the Ukrainian Czesław Miłosz audiobook. The Polish poet’s work goes across the country in a special literary edition of Ukrainian weekly, accompanied by the avant-garde sounds of Nostri Temporis band
On the 2nd of November Zhadan and Prohasko set out on a tour across Ukraine during which they promote the audiobook in "Ye" bookstores. Meetings with the young poets take place in Kiev, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk and Kharkiv. Each city hosts an interview session with journalists, a talk with the audience, and a reading session.
The schedule of Ukrainian meetings with Zhadan and Prohasko runs as follows:
Kiev: 2nd of November, 6 p.m. at the "Ye" book shop, 3 Lysenko str.
Lviv: 3rd of November, 5 p.m. at the "Ye" book store, 7 Svobody ave.
Ivano-Frankivsk: 4th of November, 5 p.m. at the "Ye" book store, 31 Nezalezhnosti str.
Kharkiv: 5th of November, 5 p.m. at the "Ye" book store, 3 Sumska str.
1000 copies of the audiobook are also to be released with a collection of Miłosz's poems published by "Tempora" and a further 1000 will feature as an insert to the "Krytyka" magazine.
The audiobook endeavour forms part of the Cultural Programme of the Polish Presidency of the EU, as well as a special programme commemorating the hundredth year since the Polish poet's birth. The publications engage various actors and writers who lend their voices for recordings of different selections of Miłosz’s poems in each country of publication. The graphic design and overall concept remains the same: The audio books, produced by the pan-European Polish Institutes, are an opportunity for European readers to acquaint themselves with the works of the Polish laureate of the Nobel Prize for Literature.
The Ukrainian selection of poems by Czesław Miłosz was prepared by Andrei Bondar. Born in 1973, Bondar is a poet, writer, journalist and translator from the Polish. He has been awarded the Gaude Polonia scholarship of the Polish Minister of Culture. Bondar debuted with as a poet in 1993. He has published three collections of poems, many of which were translated into English, French, German, Polish and Swedish. He has translated numerous pieces of Polish literature into Ukrainian. Witold Gombrowicz's "Ferdydurke", "Lubiewo" by Michał Witkowski, as well as the poetry of Różewicz and Zadura are a few among the translated titles.
Two prominent figures of Ukrainian literature, Serhiy Zhadan and Taras Prohasko who have contributed to the translation of Miłosz’s poems lend their voices for the recording.
Born in 1974, Serhiy Zhadan is a Ukrainian writer, poet and translator. He is the laureate of numerous prizes, such as the Joseph Conrad award he won in 2009, and the BBC Book of the Year awards in 2006 and 2010. Zhadan is one of the most popular Ukrainian writers. His works have been translated into 30 languages. Serhiy Zhadan has also contributed significantly to translations of Belarussian, German and Polish literary works. He has translated Paul Celan’s collection of poems, and published an anthology of contemporary Viennese poets, entitled "The Children of Rainer and Maria".
What I like the most about Miłosz's poems, what I am most passionate about in them is the precision, grace and love with which he describes things and phenomena that accompany him throughout his life. A love which he honoured and saved was born in the 20th century, a century in which brothers were killing each other. Miłosz was a witness and participant of these horrifying events in different parts of the world. It was fascinating for me that in spite of this, he was able to maintain this incredible love, incredible sensitivity and perception of the smallest details in a world of forms and objects. He never lost his ability to be surprised at seemingly obvious things. It is really fascinating, and allows us to hope that if poetry is not capable of fixing reality, it is definitely able to write it in a way that permits us to sustain this life and this world.
The writer Taras Prohasko was born in 1968, and was educated as a botanist. Together with Yuri Andrukhovych, Prohasko is a key representative of the famous "Stanislavski phenomenon". He has cooperated with several Lviv-based magazines, such as Express and Postup. Since 1992, he is editor in chief of Chetver. Prohasko, who is member of Ukrainian Writers’ Association is a laureate of numerous literary prizes. In 1997 he won the Smoloskyp magazine award, and in 2007 the writer became a laureate of the Joseph Conrad literary prize (founded by the Polish Institute in Kiev).
I have translated several poems by Miłosz, which were written at different times and in different places. They are full of a mood that I would call natural philosophy. What I was most pleased with was that fact that Miłosz didn't analyse the condition of civlisation, of culture or cultural problems - which he touched upon many times previously. Instead he begins to write about corporeal matter, of the body and the soul and the mere meaning of existence. He writes about life as eternal and the soul as immortal. And we must stay within our body, which seems to determine so much. I especially liked all those details of his subtle love for atlases and Linneus, and the precise visions of a an other life or a different level of the life that he was living. I was very much impressed by this. A couple of verses were true discoveries for me. Among them is the verse in which Heraclitus cannot comprehend that the ideology of enlightement really changed nothing.
The soundtrack for the Ukrainian recording of Miłosz's poems was played by Nostri Temporis band. The band's name means "our times" and it was founded in 2007 by young composers Maxim Kolomyec and Olexei Shmurak. Over a period of only four years, the group has given over one hundred premiere performances of pieces written by both Ukrainian and international musicians. Nostri Temporis' intial projects concentrated on presenting an anthology of musical avant-garde and modernism to the Kiev public. The musicians aim to promote the workd of contemporary composers, insitigate the creation of new pieces and actively promote them at various academic festivals and during their own concerts. Nostri Temporis have toured with their music all over Ukraine and presented their work abroad, in Belarus, Russia, Germany and Poland. The band frequently takes part in projects that engage music and other art forms – such as theatre, poetry and film.
Nostri Temporis are:
Margaryta Khakimova / Serhiy Vilka – piccolo / flute / alto flute
Maxim Kolomyec – oboe / cor anglais, (artistic director)
Olexei Boyko / Den Purzhash – clarinet
Serhiy Lohinov – horn
Igor Boychuk / Switłana Jewdokymowa – trumpet
The Ukrainian audiobook was released as a free insert into the Ukrainian Week special, devoted to the life and work of Czesław Miłosz. The edition comprised texts of numerous Ukrainian intellectuals, as well as selected writings of Miłosz. Authors who published in the edition are Yuri Andrukhovych, Mykola Ryabchuk, Yaroslav Hrycek, and Aleksander Fiut and Krzysztof Czyżewski from Poland.
In total, 10 000 copies of the special are to be distributed across Ukraine over a period of 6 months.
The Ukrainian edition of Czesław Miłosz's audiobook was made possible thanks to the Polish Institute in Kiev.
Date: Distribution started in June, 2011
Location: Nationwide in Ukraine, through the Ukrainian Week and Krytyka magazines
Organised by: Polish Institute in Kiev, Adam Mickiewicz Institute
Project cofinanced by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland.
Czesław Miłosz is a Flagship Project of the Cultural Programme of the Polish Presidency. For more information on the project, see: Czesław Miłosz
For more information on 2011 Milosz Year, see: www.365milosz.eu
Source: Adam Mickiewicz Institute