Konrad Janczura (Poland)

Two boys from a small village near Lubaczów take their first steps as the smugglera. Ukrainian cigarettes “Prima”, vodka “Chlibnyj Dar”, candies, halva and ketchup are transported across the Ukrainian border in the trunk of a navy blue passat. Sensej, a local business shark, tries to take his charges to the next level. A mysterious parcel to Ed from Przemyśl is at stake … Smugglers are not only a thriller about a provincial mafia, but also a picture of a Podkarpacie province – anarchic and reluctant to strangers.

Konrad Janczura earned money as a copywriter, journalist, literary critic and smuggler, currently working in a corporation. A resident of Bucharest, Kraków and Lubaczów. Works as a programmist, lives in Warsaw. “The Smugglers” is his prose debut.

Konrad Janczura’s “Smugglers” is a book about Podkarpacie, which has never been there before. Because who knows if there was such a Podkarpacie region before. The ancient frontier has turned into a border beyond which demons live. Which are easy to scare and easy to throw off what you have behind your ears. Janczura writes clearly, simply and strongly. And convincingly. It reads quickly, they had – longer. — Ziemowit Szczerek

On fifth page I want to puke and howl at the same time that I hate Poland and don’t want to live here. If that was the result, it worked. — Kaja Puto

Rights sold to Ukraine

160 pages
First published in 2017

Genre: Fiction
Language: Polish
Rights: Worldwide

Milo Janáč (Slovakia)

It is the story of two men addicted to alcohol, who are about to start their business in small Slovakian town. Why is it so hard to stay on the bright side of capitalism and how to find the way through the personal pshychological and financial problems? The novel does not answer, but try to suggest the ways and means, that can take part in the everyday choices. Sometimes it is a funny story of provincial barflies, but in the same time it depicts the inner conflict that every human experiences trying to build the life.

Please see the short excerpt from the novel in English translated by Jonathan Gresty.

Rights sold to Ukraine, Poland

200 pages
First published in 2018

Genre: Fiction
Language: Slovakian
Rights: Worldwide

Milo JANÁČ studied culturology at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Prešov in Prešov. During his studies, he published his first literary works in the magazines Dotyky and Nové slovo. He worked in various media (Východoslovenské noviny, SITA, the daily Pravda) and in the marketing department of the telecommunications company. After returning to his hometown, he was unemployed for a long time, then worked as a bartender. He is currently the head of the culture department at the Gelnica Municipal Office. He published short stories in Denník N and Prague A2. The book Milo nemilo is his debut.

Vasyl Stus / Василь Стус (Ukraine)

Vasyl Stus (Ukrainian: Васи́ль Семе́нович Стус; 1938-1985) was a Ukrainian poet, translator, literary critic, journalist, and an active member of the Ukrainian dissident movement. In August 1979, having finished his sentence, he returned to Kiev and worked in a foundry. He spoke out in defense of members of the Ukrainian Helsinki group (UHG). Stus himself joined the UHG in October 1979. On 14 May 1980, prior to the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow, he was arrested and received a 10-year sentence for “anti-Soviet activity”. For his political convictions, his works were banned by the Soviet regime and he spent totally 13 years in detention, until his death in Perm-36 — then a Soviet forced labor camp for political prisoners, subsequently The Museum of the History of Political Repression — after having declared a hunger strike on September 4, 1985. In 1985, an international committee of scholars, writers, and poets nominated Stus for the 1986 Nobel Prize in Literature, but he died before the nomination materialized. On 19 November 1989 the remains of Vasyl Stus, Oleksa Tykhy and Yury Lytvyn were brought back to Kyiv and reburied at the Baikove Cemetery in a ceremony attended by more than 30,000 people. Stus is widely regarded as one of Ukraine’s foremost poets.

«Круговерть» (1965)
«Зимові дерева» (1970)
«Веселий цвинтар» (1971)
«Час творчості / Dichtenszeit» (1972)
«Палімпсести» (1971—1977, published in 1986)

Genre: Poetry
Language: Ukrainian

Rights sold to Poland

Paata Shamugia / პაატა შამუგია (Georgia)

Paata Shamugia (in Georgian: პაატა შამუგია) – the most influential and provocative contemporary Georgian poet. His texts, according to Georgian literary scholars, comprise a high amount of self-irony and sometimes, even weird linguistic performances as well. In 2015 year he became the first Georgian poet to get the most prestigious SABA literary prize twice.

After publishing his début poem “Panther’s Skin” in 2006 (in which author countered so-called “Georgian Bible” “The knight in the panther’s skin”), he gained wide popularity in Georgian public. During several months in the Georgian press and TV people had disputed around this book. After 3 years, in 2010 Paata Shamugia published book “Preference”, Was commended by the critics and estimated as an author’s best book.

After publishing his début poem “Panther’s Skin” in 2006 in 2006 (in which author countered so-called “Georgian Bible” “The knight in the panther’s skin”), he gained wide popularity in Georgian public. During several months in the Georgian press and TV people had disputed around this book. Even the Georgian parliament members demanded to ban the book because of its “harmful behavior” and disrespect of the tradition. The members of the Radical Orthodox Parents’ Union published a letter dedicated to Shamugia in the newspaper “Asaval-Dasavali”, in which they asked to Georgian Orthodox Church to pronounce him an anathema.

In 2015 year publishing-house INTELEKTI published Paata Shamugia’s famous book SCHIZO-NATIONAL ANTHEMS, which brought him most prestigious literary prize of Georgia for the second time.

As a literary critic and poet, George Lobjanidze has mentioned, “Paata Shamugia’s poetry is the most adequate for the reality of today, because no one reader remains indifferent toward his texts. For some people – and mostly for his peers or the younger generations – Paata is an idol. Some strongly believes he’s a mason, godless, anti traditional etc…”

“One can randomly open SCHIZO-NATIONAL ANTHEMS at any page and find an inspiring quotation – an influential social message, slogan, motto – as the best sample of intertextuality; as an innovative, quite an unusual product born between poetic and mathematic logics” – Poet and literary critic Shota Iatashvili has emphasized in his review.

Jana Orlová (Czech Republic)

Jana Orlová (1986) is a poet and a performer. She published “Čichat oheň” („Sniff the Fire“) with her own illustrations at Pavel Mervart publishing house in 2012 and “Újedě” her second book of poetry at Větrné Mlýny publishing house in 2017. Her works appeared in “Nejlepší české básně” (Best Czech Poems) at Host publishing house. Her poems were translated into Ukrainian, Romanian, Belarusian, Polish, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Greek, Hindi, Spanish, English, and Arabic. She published a poetry book in Ukrainian and Romanian in 2019. She treats performance art as living poetry. She gained the “Objev roku 2017” Breakthrough Act Award 2017 at Next Wave Festival for “crossing the boundaries of literature, fine art and theatre naturally and with ease”. Her work is to be seen at www.janaorlova.cz. She is a chief editor of art and culture column of Polipet.cz.

Author’s photo by Alžběta Dilingerová.

Genre: Poetry
Language: Czech
Rights: Worldwide

Dmytro Lazutkin / Дмитро Лазуткін (Ukraine)

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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Ivan Baidak / Іван Байдак (Ukraine)

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

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