Carolyn Forché and Ilya KaminskyMay 24, 2023
In the Hour of War
Poetry from Ukraine
Arrowsmith Press 2023
Ukraine may be the only country on earth that owes its existence, at least in part, to a poet. Ever since the appearance of Taras Shevchenko's Kobzar in 1840, poetry has played an outsized role in Ukrainian culture. "Our anthology begins: Letters of the alphabet go to war and ends with I am writing/ and all my people are writing," note the editors of this volume, acclaimed poets Carolyn Forché and Ilya Kaminsky. "It includes poets whose work is known to thousands of people, who are translated into dozens of languages, as well as those who are relatively unknown in the West."
The poems in In the Hour of War: Poetry from Ukraine (Arrowsmith Press, 2023) offer a startling look at the way language both affects and reflects the realities of war and extremity. This anthology is sure to become the classic text marking not only one of the darkest periods in Ukrainian history, but also a significant moment in the universal struggle for democracy and human rights.
Nataliya Shpylova-Saeed has a Ph.D. in Slavic languages and literatures (Indiana University, 2022).