2014 – Joint Runner Up in Nottingham Festival of Words Flash Fiction Competition
As a spoken word poet, I have performed locally and further afield, and as a long-standing member of Nottingham’s DIY POETS.
In 2016, I developed a selection of my poetry into a performance piece, AUSTERITY CAFE, and have recently developed a collection called IF SPIDER-MAN WERE UKRAINIAN, all about growing up in a Ukrainian household in Britain.
AUSTERITY CAFÉ – An experimental fusion of political satire, fractured melodies and homegrown verse, serving up bite-sized chunks of the UK sociopolitical pie, where I am accompanied by Paul Quadros on electric guitar.
The project debuted in 2016 and ran for 2 years, including a slot at Nottingham Poetry Festival 2018. A recording is in the pipeline.
IF SPIDER-MAN WERE UKRAINIAN – A gently humorous mix of narrative and poetry, recounting a Ukrainian family’s journey through 20th century history, from the sixties and seventies onwards, alongside the shadows of the past. With amusing anecdotes, and observations on family life, history, politics, fashion and cabbage . . .
The project debuted in 2017, and is in further development, with a poetry pamphlet planned for publication.
My Literary Journey:
SLIDING ON THE SNOW STONE is based on the true story of my father, from his childhood in Ukraine, the ravages of the Soviet induced famine (1932-33), Soviet repression in the years leading up to World War Two, and events during, and after, the war.
Writing the book was a profound experience and afterwards I found myself writing a good deal of poetry to find closure. Many of my poems found their way into anthologies and poetry magazines.
In between writing and performing poetry, I wrote FATE AND CIRCUMSTANCE, based on my mother’s true story, a tale of her family’s forced eviction from their Ukrainian Lemko home in the Carpathian Mountains, and of a family member’s heroic act during the brutality of the Nazi Holocaust.
I am currently working on BLACK RAVEN, a novel about an act of genocide by the Soviet state in my father’s home town of Vinnitsya, during the war years, exploring the motives of the men who carried out those executions.
My performance piece titled IF SPIDER-MAN WERE UKRAINIAN complements my written work well, and gives me a platform to promote my works.
I also perform POETRY AIRLINES – poems printed on sheets of A4, then folded into aeroplanes and thrown into an audience, and am available to facilitate this as a project.