Serhij Zhadan

Antenna - Poems

Original Ukrainian titles: Aнтена (2018) and Список кораблів (2020) published by Meridian Czernowitz
(German title: Antenne)
ca. 140 pages
Serhij Zhadan
Foto: Serhij Zhadan
© Meridian Czernowitz

Serhij Zhadan was born in 1974 in Starobilsk, near Luhansk in eastern Ukraine, and studied German at Kharkiv University. Since 1991, he has been one of the leading figures on the Kharkiv scene.

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Poland (Wrocławski Dom Literatury), Bulgaria (Paradox)

»The worth of a poem increases in winter / Especially in a hard winter. / Especially in a quiet language. / Especially in unpredictable times.«


What can literature do, what should it do, when there is war? What language do the poets resort to? Are their instruments suited to express »what causes fear«? Since the battles in Eastern Ukraine began six years ago, Serhij Zhadan has encouraged the citizens in countless appearances on bravery and resilience and dedicated himself to social projects.

He, the most popular Ukrainian writer, has shunned no existential challenge to develop a strong lyrical voice that captures the supposedly ineffable in mysteriously beautiful images in long, song-like poems. In his new book he also commemorates his deceased father, he finds a voice to talk about the inevitability of death and the pain of love, and about the grief »that can also be bright«, because it points us towards a hidden meaning.


»[Zhadan] creates a damaged, disturbing reality that no God will come to rescue with downright magical intensity and chanting appeals and questions. Meanwhile, Zhadan […] trusts that the poetic word can bring about a little peace.« Ilma Rakusa, Neue Zürcher Zeitung

»Serhij Zhadan is a brilliant poet.« Volker Weidermann, DER SPIEGEL

»It is a melancholic landscape of life that Zhadan praises so tenderly and empathetically. Readers are taken on a mystical journey, following the words and their meanings, along verses that lose themselves, trail off, and catapulted over individual word turbulences to the next level – or into emptiness, into the nothingness of their own echo.« Ingo Petz, neues deutschland

»Serhij Zhadan has sent us a deeply moving message. Now it is on us to answer him.« Wolfgang Schlott, Fixpoetry

Other publications

Internat/The Orphanage (2018)

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English world rights (Yale UP), France (Noir sur Blanc), Italy (Voland), Denmark (Jensen & Dalgaard) Poland (Czarne), Belorussia (Januškevič), Republic of Moldova / Romanian rights (Cartier), Lithuania (Kitos Knygos), Georgia (Intelekti)

Mesopotamien/Mesopotamia (2015)

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English world rights (Yale UP), France (Noir sur Blanc), Italy (Voland), Denmark (Jensen & Dalgaard), Norway (Pax), Poland (Czarne), Georgia (Intelekti)

Die Erfindung des Jazz im Donbass/Voroshilovgrad (2012)

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English world rights (Deep Vellum), Russia (Astrel), Arabic world rights (Here&There), France (Noir sur Blanc), Italy (Voland), Netherlands (De Geus) Poland (Czarne), Hungary (Europa), Bulgaria (Paradox), Republic of Moldova / Romanian rights (Cartier), Latvia (Janis Roze), Slovenia (Beletrina), Belarus (Logvinau), Georgia (Intelekti)

Hymne der demokratischen Jugend/Democratic Youth Anthem (2009)

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Russia (Amphora), Poland (Czarne), Slovakia (Brak), Bulgaria (Paradox)

Anarchy in the UKR/Anarchy in the UKR (2007)

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Russia (Amphora), France (Noir sur Blanc), Sweden (2244/Bonniers), Norway (Pax), Lithuania (Kitos Knygos), Poland (Czarne), Republic of Moldova / Romanian rights (Cartier)

Depeche Mode/Depeche Mode (2007)

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English world rights (Glagoslav), Russia (Amphora), Italy (Castelvecchi), Sweden (2244/Bonniers), Poland (Czarne), Hungary (Europa), Bulgaria (Paradox), Republic of Moldova / Romanian rights (Cartier), Estonia (Loomingu Raamatukogu), Lithuania (Kitos Knygos)