Oleh Kotsarev © Oleksandr Kotsarev


Oleh Kotsarev [ Ukraine ]

The poet, writer, translator and journalist Oleh Kotsarev was born in Kharkiv in 1981. He studied at the Journalism Faculty of the National University of Kharkiv. He made his debut as a poet in 2003 with the poetry collection “Коротке і довге” (tr. Short and Long), which won the poetry manuscript competition of the Smoloskip publishing house. Further volumes of poetry followed. In 2009, his short story collection “Неймовірна історія правління Хлорофітума Першого” (tr. The Incredible History of Chlorophytum I) was published, in whose texts the author serves a wide range of genres – fairy tales, adventure narrative in the style of magical realism, theatre of the absurd and more. Kotsarev’s debut novel “Люди в гніздах” (2017; tr. People in Nests) tells of the deconstruction of historical memory by means of family stories that, as part of a mysterious ritual, are remembered only thanks to being passed down from generation to generation, if they do not disintegrate into incomprehensible fragments or disappear. But the novel is not only a negative family saga, but also a historical epic, crime and adventure novel as well as satire with surrealist elements. Stylistically, there are also lyrical digressions, fragments from diaries and letters as well as personnel files, quotations from encyclopaedias, work references, newspapers, interrogation protocols and more. In the process, themes such as war, prison camps, repression, the Holodomor, the Holocaust, ethnic conflicts and also the language issue in Ukraine remain in a certain blur, appear almost from a childlike perspective and combine by means of an ironically accentuated editing technique. His most recent book of poems, “Вміст чоловічої кишені” (2021; tr. Contents of a Man’s Pocket), is a kaleidoscope of genre scenes. Kotsarev’s poems have been translated into English, Bengali, Belarusian, Hebrew, Italian, Lithuanian, German, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, French and Czech and have received numerous prestigious Ukrainian literary awards, including the Molode Vyno Prize. He was a fellow of the Homines Urbani literary programme in Krakow. His texts have also appeared in translations in European journals and anthologies. Kotsarev is considered one of the most important representatives of the Ukrainian poets of the 2000s generation. Together with Julia Stakhivska, he is the editor of an anthology on Ukrainian avant-garde poetry between 1910 and 1930 entitled “Українська авангардна поезія” (2014), which enables the rediscovery of a layer of Ukrainian literature that has been forgotten. Kotsarev is also a literary translator from Czech. He lives in Kiev.


Коротке і довге.
Київ, 2003

Мій перший ніж.
Київ, 2009

Неймовірна історія правління Хлорофітума Першого: Пригодницькі повідомлення.
Київ, 2009

Котра година.
Київ, 2013

Українська авангардна поезія (1910-1930-ті роки)
[разом із Юлією Стахівською]
Київ, 2014

Тернопіль, 2015

Плавні річки.
Івано-Франківськ, 2015

Люди в гніздах.
Київ, 2017

Вміст чоловічої кишені
Люта Справа
Київ, 2021