Iya Kiva [ Ukraine ]
The poet, translator and journalist Iya Kiva was born in Donetsk in 1984. After school, she studied at the Donetsk National University, graduating in the Russian language and literature and cultural studies. She also studied graphic design. At first she wrote her poems in Russian and Ukrainian, but since the beginning of the war she has written exclusively in Ukrainian. Her poems, translations and reviews have appeared in Ukrainian and international journals, in anthologies such as “Ukraińska nadzieja” or “Антологія молодої української поезії III тисячоліття” (tr. Anthology of Young Ukrainian Poetry of the III Millennium) or more recently in the Irish edition “Invasion: Ukrainian Poems about the War” (2022). In 2018 she published her bilingual poetry collection “Подальше от рая” (tr. Far from Paradise), which was included in the list of the best books of the year by the Ukrainian PEN Club. In 2019, it was followed by “Перша сторінка зими” (tr. First Page of Winter) with poems from 2015 to 2019, which was awarded the special prize of ЛітАкцент (tr. LitAccent-2019). The texts are reflections on language and speechlessness, on the search for identity and historical memory, on great history and the private experiences inscribed in it, on war and traumatic experiences and uprooting. Iya Kiva’s poems have been translated into 15 languages.
In 2021, her non-fiction book “Ми прокинемось іншими” (tr. We will be different by waking up) was published, a record of conversations with ten Belarusian writers about the past, present and future of Belarus in the context of the protests there. However, the interviews with Belarusian writers not only reflect the present under Lukashenka, but also represent an attempt to see and understand Belarus in its entirety: with its history, traditions and national characteristics.
Iya Kiva has also made a name for herself as a literary translator. She has translated works by Maria Galina, Dmitry Strotsev, Lesik Panasyuk and others. As an editor and translator of children’s books from English into Ukrainian, she works with the PJ Library programme. In 2021 she was a grantee of the Gaude Polonia programme of the Polish Minister of Culture. In May 2022, the Mihai Eminescu National Theatre in Moldova hosted the premiere of a theatre production based on poems by Ukrainian, Moldovan and Romanian poets entitled “REQUIEM PENTRU BUCEA” (tr. Requiem for Bucha), which also featured poems by Iya Kiva. Quotations from her poems also became part of the project “Stuck in Between” (2022) by Dutch graphic designer Juliët Nijland about the situation of people during the war.
Iya Kiva has lived in Kiev since 2014.
Подальше от рая
Перша сторінка зими
Дух і Літера
Invasion: Ukrainian Poems about the War
[tr. Anatoly Kudryavitsky]