LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies will welcome an esteemed Ukrainian poet for the 2022 annual Palij Lecture on Nov. 6. Lyuba Yakimchuk will present "Ball and Chain: Russian Culture Invasion of Ukraine” from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Cider Gallery, 810 Pennsylvania St. The event is free and open to the public.
In her talk, Yakimchuk will explain how what is currently happening in Ukraine is not just a war, but the spread of archaic Russian culture all over Ukraine. She will examine how Russian cultural tradition affects Ukrainian culture during the ongoing war, how the Ukrainian and Russian languages are changing in Ukraine, why profanity is no longer taboo and the ways that language changes affect poetry. Her talk is about culture as a part of war and politics.
Yakimchuk recently performed with John Legend at the 2022 Grammy Awards. She is the author of several full-length poetry collections, including "Like FASHION" and "Apricots of Donbas," as well as the film script for "The Building of the Word."
Yakimchuk’s awards include the International Slavic Poetic Award and the international “Coronation of the Word” literary contest. Her writing has appeared in magazines around the world and has been translated into 11 languages.
She performs in a musical and poetic duet with the Ukrainian double-bass player Mark Tokar; their projects include "Apricots of Donbas" and "Women, Smoke, and Dangerous Things." Her poetry has been performed by Mariana Sadovska (Cologne) and improvised by vocalist Olesya Zdorovetska (Dublin).
Yakimchuk also works as a cultural manager. In 2012 she organized the “Semenko Year” project dedicated to the Ukrainian futurists, and she curated the 2015 literary program Cultural Forum “Donkult” (2015). She was a scholar in the “Gaude Polonia” program of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage (Poland). In 2015, Kiev’s New Time magazine listed Yakimchuk among the 100 most influential people of culture in Ukraine.
This talk is made possible by the Palij Family Fund, which brings the world’s leading experts in Ukrainian studies to Lawrence.
For more information about CREES or Yakimchuk’s presentation, visit crees.ku.edu.
Photo: Lyuba Yakimchuk. Photo by The Ukrainians, Alina Ruda.