Still City: Diary of an Invasion by Oksana Maksymchuk: Carcanet Book Launch

  • DATE

    12 May 2024

  • TIME

    7:00 pm to 8:00 pm

  • AGES

    All ages welcome



Please join us to celebrate the launch of Still City: Diary of an Invasion by Oksana Maksymchuk. The reading will be hosted by poet and translator Sasha Dugdale, who provides the foreword for the book. The event will feature readings and discussion, and audience members will have the opportunity to ask their own questions. We will show the text during readings so that you can read along.

Registration for this online event will cost £2, redeemable against the cost of the book. You will receive the discount code and instructions for how to purchase the book in your confirmation email as well as during and after the event.

Register here and let us know you can make it by joining and sharing the Facebook listing.

Still City, Oksana Maksymchuk’s debut in English, reflects life in the wake of extreme and unpredictable violence. Inevitably, there are dramatic shifts in perspective: this diary of an invasion recreates the mood and tone of the context within which a poet’s imagination must make sense of the change.

Drawing on various sources, including social media, the news, witness accounts, recorded oral histories, photographs, drone video footage, intercepted communication, and official documents, Maksymchuk tells the shared experience. The book began ‘as a poetic journal I started keeping in my hometown of Lviv, Ukraine in 2021-22. In the months leading up to the full-scale invasion, my writing has been registering how ways of living, thinking, and feeling have been changing due to the anticipation of a catastrophe, imbuing the everyday rituals with the sense of finality and precarity. While we, as a family and a community, made preparations for air strikes, as well as nuclear, chemical, and biological warfare, our relationships transformed, as did our sense of time, fate, and personhood.’

About the speakers:

Oksana Maksymchuk was born in Lviv, Ukraine, in 1982. She is the author of two award-winning poetry collections, Xenia and Lovy, in the Ukrainian, as well as a co-editor of Words for War: New Poems from Ukraine, an anthology of contemporary poetry. Her English-language poems appeared in The Irish Times, The London Magazine, The Paris Review, Poetry London, PN Review, The Poetry Review and elsewhere. Oksana was a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts translation fellowship and a winner of Scaglione Prize from the Modern Language Association of America, Peterson Translated Book Award, American Association for Ukrainian Studies Translation Prize, Richmond Lattimore Prize, and Joseph Brodsky/Stephen Spender Prize. She holds a PhD in ancient philosophy from Northwestern University. In recent years, Oksana has been dividing her time between her home in Lviv and various visiting appointments in the United States and Europe.

Sasha Dugdale has published six collections with Carcanet. The Strongbox is her most recent book (May, 2024).

Her fifth collection Deformations was shortlisted for the 2020 T. S. Eliot Prize and Derek Walcott Prize. Joy (2017) was a Poetry Book Society Choice and the title poem was awarded the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem 2016.

Her recent translations for theatre include Bad Roads and The Grainstore by Ukrainian playwright Natalya Vorozhbit, for production by the Royal Court Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company.

She has published numerous translations of Russian-language women’s writing. The most recent of these, Maria Stepanova’s novel In Memory of Memory (Fitzcarraldo, 2021), was shortlisted for the International Booker Prize, the Weidenfeld Prize, Warwick Prize for Women in Translation and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. Dugdale won the MLA Lois Roth Award for this translation. A new collection by Maria Stepanova Holy Winter is forthcoming from Bloodaxe (UK) and New Directions (US) in 2023.

She is former editor of Modern Poetry in Translation, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.