Serhiy Zhadan: Ukraine's Enfant Terrible. A talk with the author. 12 November 2018

DATE: Monday 12 November 2018

TIME: 19:00 – 20:15

VENUE: Knowledge Centre Theatre, British Library, 96 Euston Rd, London NW1 2DB

Admission: £10 (£7 con) Book here 

An evening with one of Ukraine's most iconic contemporary writers: poet, leftwing intellectual and ska band frontman Serhiy Zhadan. Chaired by Eastern Europe specialist Uilleam Blacker of UCL. Serhiy Zhadan is the most popular poet of the post-independence generation in Ukraine. His work speaks to the disillusionment, difficulties and ironies that the collapse of the Soviet Union has brought, where his readings fill large auditoriums. Originally the enfant terrible of Ukrainian letters, Serhiy Zhadan is considered the most important poet of the decade and even one of the leading voices of the last century. 

In partnership with the British Library. 

Please note this event is conducted in Ukrainian with a live interpreter, and can therefore be enjoyed by both Ukrainian and English speakers. The event will include the sale of Serhiy Zhadan's books in English. 

Serhiy Zhadan's bio:

Serhij Zhadan was born on 23 August 1974 in the Luhanask region of eastern Ukraine, an area of the country that is rarely viewed as Ukrainian-speaking. “Where do poets come from,” asks Yuri Amdrukhovych, Ukraine’s best-known prose writer, “especially in our brutal land where the abyss between them and the rest of the people is way beyond existential? What gives rise to the necessity to speak in verse in a place where regular language is no longer heard?” Serhij Zhadan graduated from the Kharkiv Teacher’s College with a thesis on the work of Mykhail Semenko and the Ukrainian Futurist writers of the 1920s. He currently lives in Kharkiv and writes poetry, prose and essays and also translates from German, Belarusian and Russian. He has also written several theatre pieces that have been staged in Kharkiv and at La MaMa Experimental Theatre in New York. His work has been translated into Armenian, Belarusian, Croatian, Czech, English, German, Hungarian, Italian, Lithuanian, Polish, Serbian and Slovenian.

text by Virlana Tkacz


Rozhevyy degenerat (Rose Degenerate), 1993
Tsytatnyk (Quotations), Smoloskyp, Kyiv, 1995; Folio, Kharkiv, 2005
Heneral Iuda (General Judas), Kyiv, 1995
Pepsi, Kharkiv, 1998
the very, very best poems, psychedelic stories of fighting and other bullshit (selected poems 1992–2000), Donetsk, 2000 
Balady pro viynu i vidbudovu (Ballads about War and Reconstruction), AUP, Lviv, 2001
Istoriia kultury pochatku stolittia (History of Culture at the Turn of This Century), Krytyka, Kiev, 2003
Maradona, Folio, Kharkiv, 2007
Efiopiia (Ethiopia), Folio, Kharkiv, 2009
Lili Marlen (Lili Marlene) Folio, Kharkiv, 2009


Bih Mak (Big Mac), Krytyka, Kyiv, 2003
Depesh Mod (Depeche Mode) Folio, Kharkiv, 2004
Anarchy in the UKR, Folio, Kharkiv, 2005 
Himn demokratychnoi molodi (Hymn of the Democratic Youth), Folio, Kharkiv, 2006
Voroshilovgrad, Folio, Kharkiv, 2010

Internat, Meredian Czernowitz, 2017

Selected works

Kapital (Capital), Folio, Kharkiv, 2006


Dr Uilleam Blacker

Uilleam Blacker is Lecturer in Comparative East European Culture at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London. His research focuses on Ukrainian, Polish and Russian culture and cultural memory. He is co-author of Remembering Katyn (2012) and co-editor of Memory and Theory in Eastern Europe (2013). His translations of contemporary Ukrainian authors have appeared in Modern Poetry in Translation, Words Without Borders and Dalkey Archive's Best European Fiction series.