Ivan Malkovych
(Ukraine, 1961)   
Ivan Malkovych

An Ukrainian poet and publisher, Ivan Malkovych was born on May 10, 1961 in Nyzhniy Bereziv (Ivano-Frankivsk oblast, Ukraine). In 1985 he graduated from the Faculty of Philology from Kiev University, and started working as a literary editor for children’s publishers. In 1992 he founded the first privately owned children’s publisher “A-BA-BA-HA-LA-MA-HA”. He lives and works in Kiev.

Ivan Malkovych is the author of four poetic collections. His poems have been touched by neo-baroque refinements. They are immersed in the figurative-symbolic world of a child’s imagination. Malkovych reinterprets the traditional and in some way clichéd Ukrainian metaphors through the radical use of lyrics. He is the slowest of Ukrainian poets: his work on one poem sometimes takes several years. Due to his close attention to the smallest details one could compare his poetry to that of Jose-Maria Heredia. Malkovych’s poem ‘Napuchuvannia sils’koho vchytelia’ (Wishing the village teacher well before his departure) became a “quiet manifesto” of the poetic generation of the 1980’s. Unlike most of his peers, who used excessively declarative, ‘manifest’ poetry, he managed to express an unpretentious, non-declamatory allegiance to the Ukrainian language, at a time when it was oppressed by the Soviet regime. Recurrent imagery in Malkovych’s poetry includes guardian angels, Ukrainian Christmas and a young Jesus Christ. For this reason some critics qualify his work as metaphysical.

At the end of the 1990’s Malkovych started publishing children’s books in Ukrainian. He stopped writing poetry. “I do the noblest work you can imagine,” he says. “I publish the best Ukrainian children’s books in the world.”

© Andriy Bondar (Translated by Vasyl Pawlowsky)

Bilyj Kamin’ (White Stone), poems, 1984
Kliuch (The Key), poems, 1988
Virshi (Poems), poems, 1992
Z Yanholom na Plechi (With an Angel on My Shoulder), poems, 1997

Websites on Malkovych
Malkovych’s home page
Language: Ukrainian

Collection of poems in the original
Language: Ukrainian

Interview in Mirror Weekly
Language: Ukrainian

Interview in Mirror Weekly
Language: Russian


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