Vasyl Holoborodko

Vasyl Holoborodko (Ukrainian: Василь Іванович Голобородько, romanizedVasýl’ Ivánovych Holoboród’ko, *April 7, 1945, Adrianopil) is a Ukrainian poet, representative of the "Kyiv school of poetry". His poems are characterized by their magical, naive and Ukrainian fairy-tale-like style. Holoborodko's books were translated into English, Portuguese, Polish and German, separate poems were also translated in French, Romanian, Croaian, Serbian, Spanish, Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Swedish and Russian.

Vasyl Holoborodko
Василь Голобородько.JPG
Born (1945-04-07) 7 April 1945 (age 76)
Adrianopil, Ukrainian SSR
GenreUkrainian literature
Literary movementKyiv school of poetry
Notable worksIcarus with Butterfly Wings


Vasyl Holoborodko was born on April 7, 1945 in Adrianopil in the Luhansk oblast of Ukraine. In 1964 he started his studies of Ukrainian at the University of Kyiv, in 1965 at the University of Donetsk, from which he was expelled for spreading among students the forbidden book Internationalism or Russification? by Ivan Dziuba. In 1967 he tried to continue his studies at the Maxim Gorky Literature Institute, but he was not allowed to take exams. In 1968–1970 he served in the army in the Far East. After this he worked as a miner and in kolkhoz. He could receive tertiary education only in 2001 at the University of Luhansk. Last years Holoborodko spent in Luhansk, but because of the War in Donbas of 2014 he had to move to Irpin.

The first book of poetry called "Letyuche vikontse" (Flying Window) was prepared for a publication in 1963, but was not allowed to come out because of the author's refusal to collaborate with KGB. His works could not be published in Ukraine till 1986.

Awards and recognitionEdit

  • 2014 - Panteleymon Kulish Literary Prize
  • 2012 - International Mykola Hohol Award "Triumph"
  • 1994 - Shevchenko National Prize for books "Ikar na metelykovyh krylah" (1990) and "Kalyna ob Rizdvi" (1992)
  • 1988 - Vasyl Symonenko prize for the poetry book "Zelen den" (Green Day)

In July 2014 Oksana Zabuzhko proposed to nominate Vasyl Holoborodko for the Nobel prize in literature.[1]


  • Flying Window «Летюче віконце» (1970);
  • Green Day «Зелен день» (1988);
  • Icarus with Butterfly Wings «Ікар на метелекових крилах» (1990);
  • Nightingale's Mansion «Соловейків теремок» (1991);
  • Viburnum at Christmas «Калина об Різдві» (1992);
  • Words in Embroidered Shirts «Слова у вишиваних сорочках» (1999);
  • Mythopoetic transformation of the Ukrainian Rite of Match-Making in Ukrainian Folk Tales «Міфопоетична трансформація українського обряду сватання в українських народних казках» (2002);
  • The Sower «Посівальник» (2002);
  • Ukrainian Birds in Ukrainian Landscape «Українські птахи в українському краєвиді» (2002);
  • Dead Cat «Дохла кішка» (2004);
  • Flying Window (Collected Poems) «Летюче віконце» (Вибрані вірші) (2005);
  • We are Going (Collected Poems) «Ми йдемо» (Вибрані вірші) (2006);
  • A Glove Full of Verses «Віршів повна рукавичка» (2010);
  • A Coucou Bashing Butter «Зозуля масло колотить» (2010);
  • White Room Plants «Білі кімнатні рослини» (2013);

Translations in EnglishEdit

  • V. Holoborodko, Icarus with butterfly wings & other poems, Toronto : Exile Editions, 1991


External linksEdit