Kalyna Language Press

Publishing and Translation

  • Kalyna Language Press wins PEN Translates award

    Kalyna Language Press is delighted to announce that we have won a PEN Translates award to finance Steve Komarnyckyj's translations of Bohdan Ihor Antonych. The 2016 awards were dominated by smaller, independent publishers in a reflection of what some term the democratisation of publishing. But who was Antonych? Read more here...



  • The digitalisation of memory

    We have just interviewed Liubov Holota, the author of Episodic Memory. We plan to publish the interview in full but wanted to share some of her thoughts now. In particular she touched on the notion of memory.

    The novel uses Tulving's theory of episodic memory as a metaphor for the erosion of our own

    communal memory. As Holota points out, the web has become our memory. We ask any question and

    it answers. But our own memory for colours, sounds and shapes is being eroded. Are we, by digitalising our past, losing that communal episodic memory, the stories told by our grandparents? What do you think? In a strange way the tales told round the fire as they blurred created a space wherein magic could exist.

    The spirits that haunt the Steppe in Episodic Memory are being driven to the very periphery of that vast open plain.



  • A letter from the Gulag

    When I was a child, Steve Komarnyckyj writes, we would occasionallly receive letters from my grandmother and aunt who lived in Vorkuta. I did not know then that they had spent years in a labour camp or that their sentence had been commuted to internal exile. Krushchev, in between banging his shoe at the United Nations, felt guilty about Stalinism. He did not dismantle the system, but the lot of political prisoners became easier. The camp where my grandmother and aunt were, Vorkuta, was he hub of the Gulag. Its location in the tundra allowed the soviets to kill vast numbers of people by overwork, privation and exposure. My aunt told me that entire labour brigades simply vanished in the tundra. When I read the passage below in Episodic Memory it awoke the memory of those blue airmail envelopes with the stamps adorned with Lenin and young pioneers. ...

    A Letter from the Gulag

    ... Grandma Hanna, waited for letters from there, looking out of the kitchen doorway onto the dusty Devladove path in summer. That was the way the postman, Mr. Dohay, would come, vigorously driving the two-year old colt, harnessed to the two-wheeled wagon, which we always called a Byedka in our village. The postman usually flew past Grandma’s fixed stare, but just once a month he would rein in his black colt by the door and Grandma would dab her dry lips with her apron and say, ‘Run and fetch Dunya’s letter. I don’t want to say hello to that wretch …’ I would dart towards the Byedka, by then I was as tall as the height of its wheels, and Dohay would silently give me the letter with all those round and triangular postmarks and, flourishing his whip, he would steer the horse back to the road.

    Continue reading here. And check out the book on amazon.com or on the amazon site wherever you are. If you buy a copy before 31 December you can win a free book of poetry



  • Playing to the silence (Glowing Review of Raven's Way)

    Translating and editing is a lonely business, a little like playing a piano in an empty theatre. You read the score, you try an capture every nuance of what the composer expressed. But you are playing to a vast silence. You know that some people will hate the book, some will love it, some will be bored. But you live for that moment when the emotional truth of the book reaches into another language. We had a beautiful review of "Raven's Way" by Michael Burianyk. He understood what the author and the translator had tried to achieve. It made the hours grappling with the text worthwhile, like hearing a faint ripple of applause from somewhere in that vast theatre. Read it here. And buy the book on amazon.com.



  • Chinese Short Story Year

    I know that between a quarter and the fifth of the world are Chinese. But I do not know what that means. My ignorance of China is vast. I could read a geography text book or an encyclopedia. But I believe it's important to listen to the heart of a people. Can a people have a single heart, a heart that is the nexus of their dreams and aspirations. Is there such a thing as a people or is humanity a rainbow where we all shade into each other through the gradated colours of the human soul? I don't know. But I know that I want to know China. And the best way to do that is to put my ear against it's skin and hear the soft slow thud of its literary heart. Paper Republic are publishing a Chinese short story every week for a year at the moment. Here is a beautiful story of love found and lost by Sabrina Huang translated by Jeremy Tiang. Read it. Hear a people dream. And follow these writers and translators every week.




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