How Fire Descends: New and Selected Poems

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$18.00  $16.74
Yale University Press
Publish Date
6.14 X 7.8 X 0.21 inches | 0.42 pounds

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About the Author
Serhiy Zhadan (b. 1974) is one of Ukraine's most celebrated writers. He has received the Hannah Arendt Prize for Political Thought, the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, and several international literature prizes. His books include Sky Above Kharkiv; Mesopotamia; The Orphanage; and What We Live For, What We Die For: Selected Poems. He lives in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Virlana Tkacz and Wanda Phipps have been translating Zhadan's poetry since 2002. Ilya Kaminsky is an award-winning poet from Odesa, Ukraine, and the author of Deaf Republic.
"Among Ukraine's most distinguished writers. . . . Zhadan has borne expert witness to Russia's fire-blasted impingement on his country since the 2014 invasion of Crimea."--Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal, "Best Poetry of 2023"

"These words blaze across the page like missiles aiming at the fourth dimension: What if someone spoke a sentence / That could stir the sonic field of death? In the eternal battle between Orpheus and Morpheus, a great poet's verbal imagination is always his sharpest weapon, his impenetrable shield. In his face-off with memory and time, Zhadan is certain to prevail."--Askold Melnyczuk

"A classic of modern Ukrainian poetry."--Gary Shteyngart

"When Zhadan says 'speak now, ' he is getting at all the ways that speaking matters: from the trenches in Ukraine that he's known to the memories of Ukrainians that he carries. The urging to speak vibrates through these pages, as if the saying it is always an homage to those who have tasked the poet to sing, while alongside him they go about the business of loving or working or cajoling light out of suffering so that we all might 'have enough stories to brave through winter.'"--Reginald Dwayne Betts

"Serhiy Zhadan's poetry allows the pain and bravery of those who can only speak through his poems to be heard. Today, in the context of war, his words resonate deeply, offering a powerful and moving journey through the human experience."--Yevgenia Belorusets

"Zhadan is a poet, rock star, and activist whose verse is rooted in his native Eastern Ukraine. He draws metaphors from daily life that in turn become the subjects of his poems, and Tkacz and Phipps have brought these images to life in an English that does justice to Zhadan's urgent messages about life, war, and love."--Amelia Glaser

"This is the sound of War. Zhadan, reporting from the frontlines in Kharkiv, where words are bullets and voices are heard from the dead. From Ilya Kaminsky's brilliant foreword to the last drops of blood on the book's final pages, How Fire Descends is a book on fire. Poetry from bunkers, bomb shelters and graves--poetry from the depths."--Bob Holman