Дмитро Лазуткін / Dmytro Lazutkin

Dmytro Lazutkin was born in Kyiv in 1978. He was educated as a metallurgy engineer and journalist. The author of the books: Дахи (Kyiv, Hopak, 2003), Солодощі для плазунів (Kyiv, Fakt, 2005), Паприка грез (Moscow, NLO, 2006), набиті травою священні корови (Kyiv, Smoloskyp, 2006), Бензин (Kyiv, Fakt,, 2008), Добрі пісні про поганих дівчат (Meridian Czernowitz, Kamyanets-Podilsky, 2012). Was awarded the literary prizes: «Смолоскип», «Гранослов», «Культреванш», «Літературний Олімп» and «Русская премия». Participates in many international literature festivals. Was published in anthologies and magazines: Метаморфози: 10 поетів останніх 10 років, Сучасність, Четвер, Дві тонни, ЛІТПОШТА, Київська Русь, Потяг-76 (Ukraine), Magnus Ducatus Poesis (Lithuania), Red, Akcent, Tygel culture (Poland), Освобожденный Улисс, Вавилон, Воздух, Континент, ДетиРа, Тритон, Русский верлибр. Итоги века, Самое выгодное занятие (Russia), The Wolf (USA), Videria (Brazil) etc. The fellow of Poland Ministry of Culture GaudePolonia grant (2004). Slam champion of Ukraine, the winner of slam contests organized by Smoloskyp publishing house, of Bereznevi koty festival. Got the title of King of Poets on the international festival Парадак слоў in Minsk. Worked as a sport journalist on the Olympic Games in Beijing and Vancouver, hosted sport shows on TV. Black belt in Kenpō (1st dan). Master of sports in Wushu sanda.
The winner of European Cup in elite martial arts (full-contact), champion of Ukraine in Cossack martial art, bronze medal of World cup in kick-boxing and kick-jutsu.

lazutkin_cvr ‘Carols and Waltzes’
in original: Дмитро Лазуткін, ‘Колядки і вальси’

In the times when there is nothing new under the sun, and the words to describe the recyclable materials were said long ago, there is only one way left: constructing images privately, digesting the reality with one’s own ferments, singing with one’s own voice, dancing to one’s own rhythms. The reader can watch this taking the challenge of reading Carols and Waltzes by Dmytro Lazutkin.

“Poetry is a fine matter. It consists of wind, fire, details and trinkets. It is the measure of your presence not only in the text, but also in its combination with the environment that matters. It is important how good you are as a heat conductor, how organic you are,” says Dmytro Lazutkin.

The collection includes poems from different years, translations and songs lyrics. The poet says: “This book is for those who know me as a lyricist of the “good songs for bad girls” time, and, at the same time the book gives one an opportunity to familiarize oneself with the experimental poems from Бензин (Gasolene) and Солодощі для плазунів (Sweets for Reptiles)”.

Carols and Waltzes is an interesting combination of sacral and everyday things before they are clothed in words. For, anyway, what is dance-singing? Its essence is the correctness of motion and breath – of internal and external – it needs repetitions in right places, the presence of rhythm “will you drink the sky with her? // will you take care of her horrors?” «worlds are going by – fight by fight // snow is going down flake by flake”.

And then: “the enemy hunts the sky in your eyes // but hears he carols and waltzes”. The carols, maybe, stand here for the sacredness “the skies are full of the awesome love // the buckets – of holy water”, “they say at Christmas // you can walk on the waters // but the salvation is not guaranteed”. The everyday things are the background for the sacredness. And its details and images go monumental “we are creating a great epoch together // and it grows through us // the serpent dwells in the TV light // the rage dwells in the TV light // crawls out and hardens in hand”.

Another prominent feature of the book – its abundance in fragments you would like to quote and learn by heart, when the image is impossible beautiful and gets stamped in the memory: “the farewells are tearing off like buttons”, “the seagulls radiate // the first unmelting snow”. The pictures are epic and laconic at the same time: “the night is dying like a sacrificial angel // the galaxy of friends is pouring down from the lips // my land is a cradle of white spots // a collection of album reproductions”, “the rain is getting more than simple rain // than nothing than we // with every drop being // a young delighted choir girl // and her naked voice // saves the time from ruin”.

And here are some last words about the love overflowing those poems, free from prostituting or time-serving. The exalted feeling manifests itself in different, sometimes paradox ways: “I saw you neck and caressed it // I kissed the shoulder tans I learned // the music of Odessa night clubs // by clatter of your heels”, “love is always the final chance // to properly end the brutal job… // find the best one among us // and kill with a spade this bastard”. And there are some more bad girls whose heels left stilette marks on the poet’s heart.

Published in March, 2014.
Original language: Ukrainian.
11550 words.

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Іван Байдак / Ivan Baidak

Ivan Baidak is a Ukrainian writer, whose first book ‘Me Personally to You Personally’ has become a bestseller and is already well-known among the Ukrainian readers. He is a skilled prosaist, fiction is almost his lifestyle. Debut novel is written in unknown for Ukrainian literature form of hypertext, so the author gave readers the opportunity to become their own story writer.

bajdak_2books The book of short stories “Role games” fully revealed the author’s skills while critics called him one of the most interesting and talented Ukrainian writers.

This time the author turns from a lost romantic into a mature cynic. The intellectual philosophy of the book runs deep. It concerns the pursuit of life sense and quality. The author and reader are watching life, or, more likely, some supernatural forces put together adventure fragments into a jigsaw puzzle of destiny. ‘Role Games’ is a collection of ten challenging and exciting short stories with characters often having to decide what role to play in their situation.

The works of Ivan Baidak include the author’s complex psychological, original style, genre and stylistic diversity. Writer’s quotations are rapidly spreading on the Internet. Ivan Baidak has one of the largest Ukrainian writing blogs.

bajdak_ri_cvr-217x300‘Role Games’
in original: Іван Байдак, ‘Рольові ігри’

Today’s literature process in Ukraine is as simple as it is complicated. Unknown becomes known and eventually disappoints. Words flow from everywhere, and one can hardly make out the chorus “listen to me… read me” of that cacophony. The author is driven mad by information excess when composing the text in which words really matter.

We are now certainly on threshold of something new, non-tendentious and unusual in the literature; calm changes to a storm of new feelings, styles, voices, not used to looking back at the past, do without sovietisms or obsolete clichés.

Ivan Baidak is a new wave writer, not spoiled by literary groups, convictions and principles. Moreover, he is a prosaist, that is, only prosaist and not a poet run out of inspiration who wants to do some prose for a change. His first novel Особисто я особисто тобі (Me Personally to You Personally) of 2013 has gained much critical approval and reader’s love less than in a year. But the main thing here, doubtlessly, is not PR, or favourable literary connections or prize winning – the main thing is that he is one of those few people sensing the word and feeling affection to every sentence, of those who can spend hours working at one episode to make his best of it.

The new Baidak’s book Role Games is a collection of ten short stories: challenging, exiting, diverse. The readers will be surprised, to say the least, comparing the book with Me Personally to You Personally – no hypertext this time, no linearity, the eventful plot of the stories absorbs the reader with every page, and the philosophic fragments will be again widely quoted. Each of the texts will attract, enhance and supplement the previous one, and the dynamism sometimes accelerates the action, sometimes slows it down to smoothness.

You will see both new and old Baidak: now a sarcarstic cynic who has keys from all the doors and never opens them just because finds it senseless, now a self-critical romantic, sometimes a daredevil about-turning the events to reach his goal.

We are not used to comparing the author’s life with his texts, but what do we mean by text? It’s what he wanted to say in the reality, but found another way to. Because what is life? It is the set of masks we change in different situations, having forgotten which of them was the initial one, and which is real. Life is a constant change of roles in this vortex of events. Life is a game and everyone plays as they want. These are the Role Games of Ivan Baidak!

Collection of short stories.
Published in August, 2014.
Original language: Ukrainian.
Rights: worldwide.
26618 words.

bajdak_cvr_n-237x300‘Me Personally to You Personally’
in original: Іван Байдак, ‘Особисто я особисто тобі’

Ivan Baidak is a young Lviv writer, the author of the book confidently entering the literature process of XXI century. This book is his novel Me Personally to You Personally. The novel is really new and fresh, for it is written in a special way: the use of hypertext and a kind of free choice of the plot are the features the Ukrainian reader is ready to perceive and appreciate.

The novel widely exposes the psychology of human relations: falling in love, passion, tenderness, intrigues – in the contemporary context. The main character has to undergo a lot of ordeals of time, patience, feelings. What will happen to him? Will he change after meeting his fate face to face – or wage a fight against it?

The central image of the novel Me Personally to You Personally is thirty years old Yura, who lives a life of a typical successful programmer: an apartment in a big city, job in a prestigious firm, pretty girls and a status of Don Juan in Kyiv and Lviv. He is pleased with his life and proud of its stability. Yura is a ladies’ man, he admires women and they inspire him. He takes the best from each of them, so becomes fastidious. The main character cannot live without the state of falling in love. He is an artist in finding grace, beauty, fine figure or simply naturalness. Yura hardly thinks if he needs the only one until Sasha storms into his life. When she appears, she triggers a quick and unexpected succession of events.

The plot of the novel is dynamic. It involves road trip as a symbol of change and meditation, there is a lot of sex, coffee and thoughts the author narrates sporadically in the first person. It is worth mentioning that secondary characters play an important part in the novel. They help Yura to understand himself, and the reader – to indulge in the events of the novel. The main idea of the book is the importance to get rid of all the fears of your future, to give yourself, or, maybe, not only yourself, a chance. The topic is actual for many people, especially young.

Me Personally to You Personally is a book worth keeping in your home library. It can be the key to understanding men’s way of thinking: Ivan Baidak has skilfully reflected the psychology and inner world of the character, the motivation and consequences of his actions.

A novel.
Published in January, 2014.
Original language: Ukrainian.
34151 words.

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Additional material on Ivan Baidak’s books:
Download PDF in German
Download PDF in English
Download PDF in Polish


Eugenia Senik / Євгенія Сенік

Eugenia Senik was born in Lugansk, in the very east of Ukraine. Nowadays this is a territory, occupied by Russia. So author remain without her ‘small motherland’, trying to do everything possible to take her land safely back. Eugenia graduated from Lugansk national university. Currently she lives in Lviv in the west of Ukraine. Works in social journal ‘Prosto neba’. As a fiction authors pays much attention to the contemporary social problems.

przepraszam_cover_web-239x300‘Przepraszam, teach me silence’

The novel Przepraszam, teach me silence is impressively actual today, in the times of political instability and wars. The novel deals with the relationship between girl and boy. She is Ukrainian, he is Polish. In the context of their relationship develops complicated constellation of hard points as patriotism, love to the motherland, love in general and globally. On the highest level of text meaning reader finds the concept of love, that is the main dimension of the human soul and its’ base.

Eugenia Senik says, ‘It’s very important for human young or adult to find and recognize anything that makes his heart ache and feel the world around more sensually. That one, which is in the same frequescy as the soul is… And one has to be brave enough to live his life independetly’.

Language of the book is soft and easy understandable, sometimes with phrases in Polish. This is a story that could be interesting for the most readers, who look for the intelectual text of good taste and style.

Fiction. Published in 2013.
Original language: Ukrainian. 212 pages.

Author’s photo by © Ostap Yurko

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