Eccentric Days of Hope and Sorrow

Poems by Natalka Bilotserkivets

Translated from the Ukrainian by Ali Kinsella and Dzvinia Orlowsky

Finalist for the 2022 Griffin International Poetry Prize, the Derek Walcott Poetry Prize, ALTA’s National Translation Book Award in Poetry and 2022 winner of the AAUS Translation Prize.

“It is difficult for poems to make their way into the world under the best of circumstances. The art requires a disciplined inwardness and an ear profoundly attentive to the music of language.  For poems to then find their way, alive, into another language requires great good fortune and the selfless commitment of translator poets equal to the original. For them to arrive in the shimmering English of a master poet such as Dzvinia Orlowsky, collaborating with master translator Ali Kinsella, is something of a miracle.  But, as we see here, miracles do sometimes occur.”  
– Askold Melnyczuk, author of The Man Who Would Not Bow

“What a gift to the reader that the author of these poems embraces translation as its own act of creation, not slavish attention to original work that can result in a soul gutting process. Under translators Ali Kinsella and Dzvinia Orlowsky’s meticulous considerations, Natalka Bilotserkivets’s poems live and breathe in English, yet are suffused with Natalka’s voice, with her great heart beating deep within the work.  To read this book is to understand shy Bilotserkivets blessed the translations of Kinsella and Orlowsky.  Her poems couldn’t have been left in better hands.”
– Catherine Sasanov, author of Had Slaves 

Purchase online at Lost Horse Press

Bad Harvest

A Massachusetts Book Awards
2019 “Must Read” in Poetry

“Even after a bad harvest, there must be a sowing.” – Seneca the Younger

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“Dzvinia Orlowsky’s sixth book, Bad Harvest, is the book that stakes her claim to an oeuvre, her own territory in American letters. Orlowsky’s voice is stunningly intimate, perhaps because these poems really look outward. Grounded in the funkiness of family love, marriage, the body in time, they turn to face history—our contemporary vortex, and the nightmares of Eastern Europe in the twentieth century.”
– D. Nurkse

“This collection simmers with the magical ingredients of an Eastern European medicine woman’s brew. Bad Harvest releases its potency poem by poem, entrapping and entrancing with its candor and Orlowsky’s deep-rooted intuitions and seductively quirky humor.”
– Mihaela Moscaliuc

Like a hornet caught in a jar, there is our world buzzing inside Orlowsky’s prose poems, buzzing between words, yes, but also between silences. I started reading with these prose poems and couldn’t stop. And then: opened the village of her lyrics, where line-breaks’ bulging veins throb to a music all their own. Here, the streets are flecked with images, with feather and bone. Orlowsky’s is a world where the poet blesses all that is washed with saliva, all that has a pinch of salt. With these poems, the boring prose of reality we all want to escape is buried in a wake of hoofs. But what is this poet’s wisdom? Orlowsky looks back on this village of her days: Remember it, she says, for its silence // the hill where you staked your life.  And what, exactly, do we take from it? She shows how to go on: Thank you doctor, / it must be so, each bone depleted–/each wish revealed. It is, indeed, revealing, beautiful work.”
– Ilya Kaminsky

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