Northwestern Events Calendar


Fury Is a Sister: A Poetry Reading and Conversation with Alex Averbuch

A portrait of poet and scholar Alex Averbuch

When: Thursday, February 22, 2024
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM CT

Where: Kresge Hall, 1515, 1880 Campus Drive , Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Michael Tabatowski  

Group: Slavic Languages and Literatures

Co-Sponsor: The Crown Family Center for Jewish and Israel Studies
Russian, Eurasian, and East European Studies (REEES) Research Program

Category: Fine Arts


Alex Averbuch will read, in the original Ukrainian and in English translation, from his latest book Zhydivsky korol (The Jewish King, a 2023 finalist for the Shevchenko National Prize, Ukraine’s highest award for culture and literature), and answer questions from the audience. Averbuch's poetry deals with interwoven Jewish-Ukrainian relations through the prism of his family history and Ukraine's multiethnic past and present. The book features poeticized documentary materials related to the Second World War: letters by Ukrainian Ostarbeiters sent to their relatives in Ukraine, interwoven with letters by Jewish Holocaust survivors who returned to devastated villages in Ukraine in search of their murdered relatives, as well as poems about the Russo-Ukrainian war currently taking place in his home region of Luhans’k. Unsettling but ultimately liberatory de-specifications of ethnos, language, and sexuality relieve trigger-points in Ukraine’s history through the confessional intimacy of family, shame, pleasure, and the reconciliation of self and other.

Alex Averbuch, a poet, translator, and scholar, is the author of three books of poetry and an array of literary translations between Hebrew, Ukrainian, English, and Russian. English translations of his poems have appeared in the Manhattan Review, Copper Nickel, Plume, Birmingham Poetry Review, Words Without Borders, Sugar House Review, Constellations, and Common Knowledge. Averbuch is active in promoting Ukrainian-Jewish relations. He has translated into Hebrew and published over thirty selections of poetry by contemporary Ukrainian poets. Currently he is compiling and editing an anthology of contemporary Ukrainian poetry in Hebrew translation. Averbuch is a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University’s Davis Center, and soon to be a research fellow at the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute. He has a PhD in Slavic Languages and Literatures and Jewish Studies from the University of Toronto.

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