Marianna KiyanovskaApr 7, 2023
The Voices of Babyn Yar
Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute 2022
Today I talked to the translators of Marianna Kiyanovska's The Voices of Babyn Yar (HURI, 2022), Max Rosochinsky and Oksana Maksymchuk.
With this collection of stirring poems the award-winning Ukrainian poet honors the victims of the Holocaust by writing their stories of horror, death, and survival in their own imagined voices. Artful and carefully intoned, the poems convey the experiences of ordinary civilians going through unbearable events leading to the massacre at Kyiv’s Babyn Yar from a first-person perspective to an effect that is simultaneously immersive and estranging. While conceived as a tribute to the fallen, the book raises difficult questions about memory, responsibility, and commemoration of those who had witnessed an evil that verges on the unspeakable.
Nataliya Shpylova-Saeed has a Ph.D. in Slavic languages and literatures (Indiana University, 2022).