The Second Coming Project aims to continue the process begun with “The First Coming” tour of building bridges between two societies that have many things in common and yet are so different, societies that are currently in different socio-political and cultural circumstances and therefore have a great deal to learn from one another and to exchange.
The process began with a tour in 2009, first bringing Catalan literature to the Ukraine live in an exchange that we hoped would go in both directions. Last year’s tour was a great success, and moreover, the exchange process has also begun in the opposite direction. In May of this year, 3 Ukrainian poets and a festival organizer came to Catalonia to participate in the Barcelona Poetry Week. It would seem the cultural bridges are becoming a reality!
The current project is designed to continue with last year’s endeavor, enriching Ukrainian society by allowing Ukrainian readers to discover Catalonia and Catalan literature, in particular its poetry, as well as making Catalonia visible. As we remarked last year, Catalan literature has a very long, impressive history, from Ramon Llull to the present, and has recently become greatly successful throughout the world. Catalan writers are constantly participating in the most significant literary festivals in the world. Their works have been translated into a great many languages. At the 2007 Frankfurt Book Fair, for instance, Catalonia was the guest of honor. Works by 53 Catalan writers were translated into German on that occasion. And yet, this literature remains unknown to the Ukrainian public. But we (along with other cultural agents) are slowly chipping away at this state of affairs – where there is a will, there is always a way.
This year, in September, the Publishers’ Forum in Lviv and the Ternopil-based publishing house Krok (which means “Step”) have conceived of the Second Coming Project. The Project will bring three Catalan writers to two cities in Ukraine: Lviv and Ternopil. The main part of this literary event will consist of presenting each of the three writers at separate recitals at the 5th International Literary Festival / 17th Publishers’ Forum in Lviv (dates: 15-19 September 2010).
First and foremost, the aim of the project is to establish contacts and allow enriching exchanges, but it also wishes to bring to light certain historical and literary parallels between Catalonia and Ukraine. The Catalans are one of the largest ethnic minorities (there are some 8 million native speakers of Catalan) remaining unrecognized or ‘under-recognized’ internationally, as, for instance, in the European Union, where the language has not been granted official “working language” status. The Ukrainians, despite their present independence, are a generally invisible peoples as well on the international arena, due to their having lived long centuries in the shadows of the Russian Empire/Soviet Union and Poland. Ukraine lost its independence nearly at the same time as Catalonia. As of that time, the Ukrainian language was prohibited and/or belittled, the peoples subject to laws similar to those imposed on Catalonia through the Nueva Planta Decrees, their culture and identity suppressed. Ukraine is shared out between Poland and Russia, as Catalonia is between France and Spain, and the Ukrainians live with the constant fear of disappearing as an ethnicity, under heavy pressure from the Russian culture and Russian politics. In the early 19th Century, a cultural resurgence movement emerged in Ukraine that formed part of a more generalized movement in Europe known as the “Spring of the Nations”, as did the Catalan Renaixança. Later, in the early 20th Century, the Ukrainian culture, like the Catalan culture, experienced strong growth, particularly in the field of literature. Shortly thereafter, the Ukrainian language and culture were brutally suppressed by the Stalin Regime, and subject to defamation and marginalization campaigns to the point they ran the risk of being wholly annihilated. In Catalonia, the Franco Regime was doing much of the same.
The three authors who will represent Catalonia are: Anna Aguilar-Amat, Francesc Gelonch Bosch and Núria Martínez-Vernis. All three are significant figures on the Catalan literary scene, in particular the first writer, whereas the second poet has not yet published a volume of his works (though this is forthcoming). Anna Aguilar-Amat will also be representing Catalonia at the Grand Opening Night of the Lviv Literature Festival and Editor’s Forum. The Catalan-Ukrainian poet, translator and interpreter, Andriy Antonovskiy will also make an appearance, presenting the bilingual Catalan-Ukrainian poetry book published in conjunction with Dr. Yuri Zavadsky (foreword by Carles Hac Mor).
The poetry will be translated from the Catalan to the Ukrainian by Andriy Antonovskiy, Catalina Girona and Dr. Yuri Zavadsky.
The project will be carried out under the auspices of the Institut Ramon Llull, of the Government of Catalonia, which promotes Catalan culture abroad. The Institute itself has also participated in numerous literary festivals in Europe, bringing writers and artists to different countries and helping to make Catalonia known in different parts of the world.
The writers’ stay in Ukraine is to last from Sunday, 12th September to Wednesday, 22nd September 2009.
The Lviv Literary Festival is also planning on publishing an “almanac” for the festival, whereas Krok shall publish a brochure containing information on Catalonia and the three invited writers, as well as a brief, Catalan-Ukrainian bilingual anthology of texts.
12 September – Arrival of Catalan authors in Katowice (Wizzair Airlines, Katowice-Pyrzowice International Airport) in the afternoon-evening and travel by night train to Lviv.
13 September – Arrival in Lviv in the morning, settling in at the hotel and in the city.
14 September – Exhibition opening: Photography by Francesc Gelonch and joint poetry recital by all Catalan authors.
15-19 September – Lviv International Literature Festival / Publishers’ Forum
20 September – Train from Lviv to Ternopil and joint recital of the three authors at the Cultural-Artistic Center “Petrykiv”, (7 pm). Hotel accommodations.
21 September – Train from Ternopil to Lviv in the morning, and in the evening, night train to Katowice.
22 September – Flight back from Katowice-Pyrzowice to Barcelona, Wizzair Airlines.
Program at the 5th Lviv International Literature Festival:
Three tandems pairing each Catalan author with a different Ukrainian writer, who will present the author in question and read the translations of the works recited. The Ukrainian authors to participate are renowned on the national literary scene.
– Núria Martínez-Vernis with Svitlana Povaliaieva. Moderator: Yuri Zavadsky.
– Francesc Gelonch Bosch with Halyna Kruk. Moderator: Nelly Klos.
– Anna Aguilar-Amat with Viktor Neborak. Moderator: Ostap Slyvynsky.
Anna Aguilar-Amat will also be representing Catalonia at the Grand Opening Night of the Lviv Literature Festival and Editor’s Forum, at the Lviv Philharmonic Theatre, together with such renowned literary figures as Yuri Andrukhovich (Ukraine), Terezia Mora (Germany) and Krzysztof Varga (Poland), among others.
Group recital at the opening of Francesc Gelonch’s photography exhibit, within the framework of the Lviv Literature Festival.
Andriy Antonovskiy will also be reciting and presenting his bilingual Catalan-Ukrainian book in tandem with the co-author, Dr. Yury Zavadsky.
Brief backgrounds of the above Ukrainian writers:
Victor Neborak (Віктор Неборак, Ivano-Frankove, earlier Yaniv, a small city near Lviv, 1961) is a poet, prose writer, playwright, essayist, literary critic and one of the three founders of the legendary literary performance group, Bu-Ba-Bu (Бу-Ба-Бу, Бурлеск-Балаган-Буфонада, Burlesk-Balahan-Bufonada), that is to say, “Burlesque-Farce1-Buffoonery”. He works in the line of comedy, humor, satire and irony. His poems have been put to music by various Ukrainian rock groups.
From the Poetry International website:
Viktor Neborak (1961), a tall imposing figure with a booming voice that makes a microphone come to life when he performs his poetry, was born in 1961 and is one of the leading representatives of the mid-to-late 1980s cultural revival in Ukraine. He is best known as a poet and founding member (along with Yuri Andrukhovych and Oleksander Irvanets) of the Bu-Ba-Bu literary performance group that gained enormous popularity in the late 1980s and 1990s in Ukraine. The syllables of the group’s name stand for burlesque (burlesk), a puppet show or farce (balahan), and buffoonery (bufonada). Neborak has also been active as a prose writer, translator, essayist, and cultural activist, as well as a performer with the rock band Neborok, which was extremely popular in Western Ukraine and Poland.
He is the author of six collections of poetry: Amber Time (1987), The Flying Head (1990), Alter Ego (1993), Conversation with a Servant (1994), An Epos about House Number Thirty-Five (1999) and a selected works edition that gathers the best of his works in a single volume Litostroton (2001). His poetry from The Flying Head is an innovative cutting edge work with a great amount of linguistic and poetic experimentation. Alter Ego has a much more reflective tonality than The Flying Head and represents a diametrically opposed voice to the poet’s performance voice. An Epos about House Number Thirty-Five shifts to the modality of a poetry of everyday life experiences. Neborak is also the author of two books of memoiristic essays about many of his contemporaries entitled Return to Leopolis (1998) and Introduction to Bu-Ba-Bu (2001).
He has been very active as an interviewer for a monthly cultural program for television in Lviv and can be seen as an organizer and participant in myriad cultural events of the city. He is married to the poet Yaryna Senchyshyn and lives on the outskirts of Lviv with his two children.
Michael M. Naydan
Excerpt from the Poetry International website:
(Світлана Поваляєва, Kyiv, 1974) poeta, periodista, redactora literària, traductora i activista cultural. Ha col·laborat amb els diferents mitjans de comunicació (ràdio, televisió, premsa), i els últims 5 anys (a 2010) al canal 5, amb els projectes del periodista, guitarrista i líder del grup “Mertvyi Píven”, Roman Txaika. Ha publicat molts llibres, entre ells les novel·les i reculls de narrativa “Ексгумація міста” (Exhumació de la ciutat, 2006 i 2007, narrativa breu), “Замість крові” (Enlloc de sang, 2005, novel·la), “Оріґамі-блюз” (Origami Blues, 2005, narrativa breu) i els reculls de poesia “Камуфляж в помаді” (El camuflatge esta tacat de pintallavis, 2006), “Сімург” (Simurgh, 2006) i Лярви. Небо кухня мертвих (El cel és la cuina dels morts, 2007); i un audio-CD de la seva poesia. També apareix a antologies com ara «Декамерон. 10 українських прозаїків останніх десяти років» (Decameró. 10 escriptors ucraïnesos dels últims deu anys, 2010).
Halyna Kruk (also transliterated as Krouk, Lviv, Ukraine, 1974) is a poet, translator, children’s writer and professor. A Doctor in Ukrainian Philology, she specializes in 17th-18th Century Ukrainian and European Literature. She is the author of three poetry books – Mandry u Poshukakh Domu (Journeys in Search of a Home), Slidy na Pisku (Footprints on Sand) (both 1997) and Oblychchia poza svitlynoju (The Face beyond the Photograph, 2005). Kruk has been published widely in literary journals and has won two international literary awards. Her poems were translated into English, Polish, Russian, Byelorussian, German, Swedish, Lithuanian, Croatian etc languages.
In addition, Kruk writes children’s poetry and fiction, which she publishes in children’s magazines and anthologies. In 2003 she won the Step by Step international competition for children’s books. Her Marko mandruje navkolo svitu (Marko Travels Around the World) and Najmenshyj (The Littlest) have been translated into 15 languages.
Halyna Kruk has been awarded the GAUDE POLONIA scholarship for the arts (Polish Ministry of Culture, Warsaw, 2003 & 2010) and the stipendium HOMINES URBANI in Villa Decius (Kraków, 2005). She has also participated in the Baltic Centre for Writers and Translators’ program (Visby, 2007). She is a member of the Association of Ukrainian Writers and a Professor of History of Ukrainian and European Literature at Lviv National University.
See also: Poetry International Website:
See the author’s website as well: http://www.halynakruk.net/index.php
Yuri Zavadsky (Юрій Завадський, Ternopil, 1981) is a poet, literary critic, professor of Computer Science, director of a literature workshop and Doctor of Ukrainian Philology. He also gives master classes in poetry and different aspects of literature.
In 2006 he completed his postgraduate studies at the Department of Literary Theory and Comparative Literature at Volodymyr Hnatiuk Ternopil National Pedagogical University. Subject of dissertation – “Typology and the Poetics of Network Literature and Modern Western Literature”. Awarded Ph.D. on October 12, 2006 in Ternopil.
Today he is Assistant Professor at the Computer Science and Teaching Department, Physical Sciences and Mathematics Faculty and Assistant Professor at the Journalism Department, Philology Faculty; both at Volodymyr Hnatiuk Ternopil National Pedagogical University.
Since April 2008, he has been directing the Literary studio “87” at Volodymyr Hnatyuk University, for which he has set up a website to upload student’s works, the first anthology of which he has published, soon to be followed by a second volume. See http://87.te.ua/. You can view different works by participants and historical writers at his excellent blog co-authored with Andriy Antonovskiy, among others: http://community.livejournal.com/seks_ua/.
Research interests & projects: contemporary visual poetry, computer technology in art, comparative literature, development of an improved Ukrainian alphabet.
He publishes scientific articles and poetry regularly in literary and scientific journals. Cofounder of the former Zvrishi literature & art magazine (Animal-Verses, the title is a play on the two words). Cofounder of the poetry group, “Western Front of Young Poetry” (“Західний фронт молодої поезії”, Zakhidnyi front molodoï poeziï), organizer of various poetry recitals.
He has studied and helped recover the figures of Ivan Iov (Іван Іов, 1949-2001, experimental poet) and Pavlo Tychyna (Павло Тичина, a Ukrainian avant-garde writer who revolutionized the poetry scene in Ukraine in the 1910s and 1920s) and has dedicated entire websites to both.
See http://www.krok.te.ua/iov/ and http://tychyna.krok.com.ua/index.html.
He is currently on the editorial board of the scientific journal, Studia Methodologica (Науковий альманах “Studia methodologica”,
He has founded a publishing house, Krok (Step), in Ternopil. See Видавництво КРОК at http://krokbooks.com/. It is planning on publishing “Phosphorescent Canaries” by Enric Casasses in Ukrainian-Catalan bilingual version in the near future, as well as other Catalan poetry books.
Author of five poetry books – Імовірність (Probability, 1999), 3 different books by the same title, юрійзавадський (yuriyzavadskyy, 2003), юрійзавадський (yuriyzavadskyy, 2006) and юрійзавадський (yuriyzavadskyy, Djura, 2008), and РОТВРОТ/BOCAABOCA (MOUTHTOMOUTH, Krok, 2010), coauthored with Andriy Antonovskiy – as well as the hypertextual poem “Tsyharky” (Cigarettes, see http://yuryzavadsky.com/cyharky/0.html).
See his website at: http://yuryzavadsky.com/
Nelly Klos (Неллі Клос, in Catalan: Nel·li Klos, Lviv, Ukraine, 1984) is a Coordinator and Programmer of international literary events as well as a Literary Agent. Since July 2005, she has held different positions of responsibility at the NGO, Lviv Publisher’s Forum ( «Форум видавців», Forum vydavtsiv, http://www.bookforum.com.ua/) and with the International Literature Festival of Lviv. She studied Publishing and Editing Science (books and other printed material) at the Ukrainian Publishing Academy (Українській академії друкарства) in Lviv.
Apart from coordinating the International Literature Festival of Lviv, she is currently coordinating the Eastern European section of the new Danish World Wide Words Festival (Interdisciplinary festival of new experimental creation and artistic performance, http://www.worldwidewords.dk/) as well as serving as their agent for Catalonia, and she is also working on several other projects, one of which is the preparation of an anthology of contemporary Catalan poetry in Ukrainian (translated by Andriy Antonovskiy and Catalina Girona).
Poet, translator, literary critic. Born on October 14, 1978 in Lviv, Ukraine. An author of two books of poetry: The Sacrifice of Big Fish (1998) and The Midday Line (2004). His poetry is being published in anthologies and periodicals in Ukraine and abroad (i.a. The Anthology of Contemporary Ukrainian Poetry in polish translations Poems Are Always Free, Wroclaw, 2004). Winner of B. I. Antonych Literary Award (1997), Smoloskyp Award (2000). Participant of numerous international literary festivals and events (Euroregion Poetry Festival, Poland 2001, Ukraina Viva Festival, Poland 2004, “Teraz Ukraina” Literary Festival, Poland 2005, etc.). His poems and essays were published in Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia and Belarus. In 2003-2005 he was an organizer of the Annual International Literary Festival “Inscriptis”, in 2006 he coordinates the 1st International Literary Festival in Lviv. He translates from Polish, English, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Belarussian. In 2003 he was guest lecturer of Ukrainian language and literature at Sofia University, at the moment he teaches contemporary Polish literature at Lviv University.
Excerpt from the website of the “European Borderlands” literary festival, which takes place in different cities of Eastern Europe on either side of the EU border: