London, United Kingdom, November 30, 2017 --(PR.com
)-- Contours of the City arguably comprises one of the finest collections of free verse ever written in Ukrainian even though it was largely overlooked when it first appeared during the political transition to Ukrainian independence in 1991. It certainly deserves a broader audience both in Mohylny’s homeland as well as in the wider world. While it may be described as a one-hit wonder because of the poet’s premature death, it remains a brilliant hit for all time.
Translator Michael Naydan received the Eugene Kayden Meritorious Achievement Award in Translation from the University of Colorado for a partial manuscript of his translations of Mohylny’s poetry into English in 1993. This edition includes a complete translation of Mohylny’s collection Contours of the City along with several poems translated by Virlana Tkacz and Wanda Phipps.
About The Author:
Attyla Mohylny, son of the Ukrainian poet Vit Vitko, was born on September 16, 1963 in Kyiv, Ukraine, and died all too prematurely on September 3, 2008 at the age of 45. The poet was named after the saint Attila and not the Hun of more historical renown. He completed his philology degree at Taras Shevchenko Kyiv State University and worked mostly as a teacher, editor and journalist during his abbreviated lifetime. He continued his studies while working in Dushanbe, Tadzhikistan, first as a group leader of The Young Pioneers, then as a teacher in the Medical Institute until 1985. Following his travels to Tadzhikistan, in Kyiv he tried his hand at journalism for the newspaper Evening Kyiv. Since then Mohylny had an off and on career as a teacher and journalist. He worked as an editor in the Molod Publishing House, and from 1987 taught occasionally at Kyiv and Warsaw Universities. He worked in television, writing film scripts for children’s shows. He authored two books of poetry early in his career: Rattling above the Rooftops (1987) and Contours of the City (1991) along with the text for the exquisitely illustrated children’s book Mavka and the Ant King in 2006. He continued to work on writing short stories and a novel until his death.
Mohylny was part of the transitional and transformational group of Ukrainian writers who dramatically turned from Soviet-imposed censorship to create new directions and a new poetics for Ukrainian culture. He is conspicuous among his peers as a poet exclusively of the city, one of the late 1980s generation of urban intellectuals who lived and breathed the pulsating rhythms of the capital city of Kyiv’s urban landscapes. The cohort with whom he often interacted in his youth included the now prominent poets and writers Yuri Andrukhovych, Oksana Zabuzhko, Ihor Rymaruk, Vasyl Herasymiuk, Ivan Malkovych, Ihor Rymaruk, and Viktor Neborak. The poetry of Mohylny’s collection Contours of the City completely breaks with the tradition of rhyme and meter that dominated Ukrainian poetics until only recently and, except for Kyivan realia and allusions to Ukrainian history, fits seamlessly into Western late modernity.
About the Translator:
Michael M. Naydan, Woskob Family Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the Pennsylvania State University, is a prolific literary translator of contemporary poetry and prose from Ukrainian and Russian. He has published over 30 books of translations and more than 100 articles and translations in literary journals.
Title: Contours of the City
Author: Attyla Mohylny
Translator: Michael M. Naydan
Publisher: Glagoslav Publications
Extent: 140 pages
Price: €23.45(PB), €26.50(HB), €9.95 (e-book)
Format: paperback, hardback, e-book
Review copies are available upon request.