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Set Change

Set Change

by Yuri Andrukhovych, translated from the Ukrainian by Ostap Kin and John Hennessy

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Yuri Andrukhovych, one of the most significant voices in contemporary Ukrainian literature, began his career as a poet, producing three collections and two separately published poem cycles in the 1980s and ’90s, the late Soviet and early post-Soviet period, a time of great political change and artistic revolution. Set Change: Selected Poems presents for the first time in English comprehensive selections from all three collections and both cycles.

In modern Ukrainian letters, Andrukhovych occupies a position similar to the literary giant Nikolai Gogol. While his influence is broad and significant, he is constantly reinventing himself as a writer: His work represents everything playful, free-spirited, and new, and epitomizes all the most original aspects of Ukrainian literature.

The poems collected here showcase the poet’s prolonged quest for a representation of—and response to—the region’s history of violence. In this quest Andrukhovych explores various settings and themes of geography, investigates the shifting borders of eastern Europe, and invokes a gamut of myths and fantastical elements set in the territory of present-day Ukraine.

The cornerstone of his poems is a deep fascination with the idea of the city. Andrukhovych’s vivid descriptions lend themselves to his investigations of the carnivalesque and the grotesque, two of the city’s most significant aspects. His deep interest in the baroque, his obsession with verbal play and irony, the elegiac mode, the many hidden as well as overt allusions to other literary works and writers, and his need for textual experimentation are the elements that make his poems arresting, timely, and perpetually fascinating.

The poems in Set Change are translated by the award-winning duo of Ostap Kin and John Hennessy, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Additional Book Information

Series: NYRB Poets
ISBN: 9781681378848
Pages: 136
Publication Date:


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