Volha Hapeyeva [ Belarus ]
Belarusian writer, poet, and playwright Volha Hapeyeva was born in Minsk in 1982. She studied at the Minsk State Linguistic University, where she received her PhD in 2012 and has been a professor since 2015. Her literary texts have been appearing in journals and anthologies since 1999. In her poems, she explores the myriad possibilities of language expression in terms of expanding consciousness and demonstrates the infinite interpretive possibilities of poetry. An important motif is the human body – as a mediator between people, as an object of love and desire. Politics and historical events are identified and evaluated from a decidedly female perspective. The position of women in society and in gender relations sets freedom and independence as a goal.
Hapeyeva’s children’s books hint at philosophical thoughts behind seemingly everyday phenomena and behaviors of the protagonists while posing questions about the human condition. In her view, children’s and young adult literature should teach new norms of behavior and changing values regarding gender roles and the diversity of gender. Her first novel, the autobiographically tinged »Кэмэл-Трэвэл« (2019; tr: Camel Travel), is about a childhood and youth in the final stages of the Soviet Union. The setting is the Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic, where both Russian and Belarusian are spoken, and where everyday life can only be mastered with rich inventiveness and improvisational talent. The novel also has a sociopolitical dimension because it shows the protagonist’s development into a feminist, critical person in contemporary Belarus. Hapeyeva has written plays such as »Kalekzyjaner« (tr: The Collector), which was presented, among others, at the »Konfrontacje Teatralne« International Theater Festival XI (Lublin, Poland) in 2006. In addition to her linguistic research and writing activities, Hapeyeva also translates literary works from English, German, Chinese, Japanese, and Latvian. As a curator, translator, and author, she has participated in various anthologies such as »Linija Frontu« (2003; tr: Front Line), a collection of Belarusian and German texts, and »Antalogija latwijskaj paezii« (2013; tr: Anthology of Latvian Poetry). Volha Hapeyeva’s works have been translated into English, German, Polish, Macedonian, Czech, Lithuanian, Latvian, Slovenian, Georgian, Dutch, and Russian. She collaborates with musicians and music groups such as Vlad Buben, Aortha, RoomDark, and Spit it Out to present audiovisual performances. Hapeyeva is a member of the Belarus PEN Center and the Belarus Independent Writers’ Union. She lives in Minsk.
Рэканструкцыя неба [Реконструкція неба / Reconstruction of the Sky]
Няголены ранак [Неголений ранок / Unshaven Morning]
Метад муараваых крэсак [Метод муарових схрещувань / The Method of Moire Crosses]
Прысак і пожня [Всмоктування та врожай / Sucker and Reap]
(в)ядомыя гісторыі [(в)їстівні історії / (eatable) wellknown stories]
Сумны суп [Сумний суп / Sad Soup]
Дзве авечкі [Дві вівці / Two Sheep]
Граматыка снегу [Граматика снігу / Grammar of Snow]
Чорныя макі [Чорні маки / Black Poppies]
Кэмэл-Трэвэл [Camel Travel]
словы якія са мной адбыліся [слова, що трапились зі мною / words that happened to me]
In My Garden of Mutants
[Translation: Annie Rutherford]