On Thursday March 1st, I gave a reading at Literati of my poems in translation from my recently published book, A Field of Foundlings: Selected Poems of Iryna Starovoyt. Our event host, John Ganaird, quoted from one of the poems in the collection, “The work of love is to wait.” We could consider this line, he said, in a few ways: making poetry and translation is a work of love that requires time and patience. Sometimes it can take a while for such projects to be realized in print. And, we’ve had to wait, with love, for this event. My reading, which had been rescheduled from the original date in mid-February due to a snowstorm, came on another snowy day. I had felt confident rescheduling for March, but the Michigan weather gods evidently took it as some sort of dare or provocation, and sent another snow storm on the day of my reading. Thankfully, several dedicated lovers of poetry forged through the icy streets and made their way into the cozy café space of Literati for my reading.
This was a unique event, because, in addition to reading my English translations, I presented the poems side-by-side with video of Iryna reading in the original Ukrainian. I think this video was a great addition to the reading, as hearing the original poems and the poet’s voice offered a more complete experience of the book as a whole. I will be giving another reading in this format at the Ukrainian American Archive and Museum in Hamtramck on Saturday March 10th at 2pm.
A Field of Foundlings is the first volume in Lost Horse Press’ Contemporary Ukrainian Poetry Series. The second volume, Songs for a Dead Rooster by Yuri Andrukhovych, translated by Vitaly Chernetsky and Ostap Kin, will be released in Fall 2018.