Apricots of Donbas
Author: Lyuba Yakimchuk
Translators: Oksana Maksymchuk, Max Rosochinsky, and Svetlana Lavochkina
Publisher: Lost Horse Press (2021)
Apricots of Donbas is a bilingual collection by award-winning contemporary Ukrainian poet Lyuba Yakimchuk. Born and raised in a small coal-mining town in Ukraine's industrial east, Yakimchuk lost her family home in 2014 when the region was occupied by Russian-backed militants and her parents and sister were forced to flee as refugees. Reflecting her complex emotional experiences, Yakimchuk's poetry is versatile, ranging from sumptuous verses about the urgency of erotic desire in a war-torn city to imitations of childlike babbling about the tools and toys of military combat. Playfulness in the face of catastrophe is a distinctive feature of Yakimchuk's voice, evoking the legacy of the Ukrainian Futurists of the 1920s. The poems' artfulness go hand in hand with their authenticity, offering intimate glimpses into the story of a woman affected by a life-altering situation beyond her control.