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INTERVIEW WITH IHOR PAVLYUK



About the BOOK


This book is bilingual. It consists of my poems in Ukrainian and their translations into English, from a list of my books and books by a translator, a list of my publications in world-famous poetry magazines, as well as foreword to a book written recipient of the

Nobel Prize for Literature Mo Yan and Naomi Foyle, Steve Komarnyckyj, my friend academic scholar Dr. Dmytro Drozdovskyi. The book also has my photograph and a short biography with a link to an article about me on the English-language Wikipedia.




JDBOOKS has the privilege of an interview with author Ihor Pavlyuk




What are your goals for this book?

To offer poetry lovers all over the world their poetry as one of the examples ofUkrainian contemporary poetry. And since the poetic texts in the book are displayed offered in two languages, those who wish to read / study the Ukrainian language / poetry in the original, can do this.



How did you come up with an amazing title?

I love the sea and wrote the entire poetic cycles about the sea, the ocean, and I also love to fly. Therefore, I decided in the title of the book to combine the two elements: the sea and space. And since the country Ukraine has access to the sea, which is called the Black Sea, the book has the title "A Flight over the Black Sea".



Why did you write this book? Is there any “back story” that inspired you to write this book?

I have been writing poetry since I was 18 years old and have already written almost 3,000 poems, many of which have become songs in Ukraine, theatrical productions, are included in films, for example: «Ihor


Pavlyuk: Between Bug and God»

 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6s0-5iL_YCw), school books,


American actors

read my poems (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8s0NUVsuO_I).


Translators from

Ukrainian (my native language) to other languages of the world themselves choose my poems for translation from my books. My poems – this is my personal prayer to God,which can be heard and read by people, and animals, and plants, and stars... I do not see the point of life without poetry. It is both a goal and a means to communicate (exchange) spiritual, mental, even bodily energy with the Universe, becoming its part...



Is your book based on your own life in any way? If so, please explain:

Yes, poetry (generally literature) is a story of emotions written by verbal music. That is, this book is selected by the translator of my poems: diary notes of my emotions from 18 to 45 years... This is my beautiful biography. I (yes, I dare say, all poets of all times and spaces) write poems on three main topics: homeland, space and love. The poet speaks with descendants, squeezing the subtle energies of emotions, like a lens compresses light, like a nucleus of a uranium atom compresses colossal physical energy, and transfers them to descendants. But if a poet believes in God (like me), then he speaks with God in the language of God, because poetry is the language of the gods. Well said about my poetry

Mo Yan, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2012, and with whom I have been friends for many years: «I understand that Ihor Pavlyuk is from Polissya. The name of this region sounds magical to my ear. I have never visited such a place as Polissya... I think that Ihor Pavlyuk is a good poet and in his heart he resembles the unique natural spirit of his birthplace. My first impression from these English translations of Ihor

Pavlyuk's poems was that I was reading Seamus Heaney's book. I am grateful to IhorPavlyuk for the energy of true humanity which I found in his poems. I know that a nebulous terrain exists in the hearts and minds of every person, a terrain that cannot be adequately characterized in simple terms of right and wrong or good and bad. I see this ambiguity in Ihor Pavlyuk's works and I am happy in the knowledge that there is a very good poet in Ukraine».



If you could give your younger self some advice about the writing process, what would it be?

1. You should feel that poetry (literature) is your calling in this world, your mission, and you are ready to give up everything else in the name of literature. If you do not hear thiscall, then do not waste your energy and do something else where you are realized.


2. But if you cannot live without poetry, you will choose an idol poet (preferably from the classics) and love him and his work, because the mythical image, the legend of the Poet consists of three hypostases: the poet’s biography, the poet’s texts and photography (appearance) of the poet. Having fallen in love with the poet and trying on his “skin of

genius”, you will become his student and you will get a real chance to become a genius of another era, even another country (it doesn’t matter) when you grow up your idol from your shirt and buy your own. Perhaps your ingenious Master teacher will reject, burn you... But there is no other way to become a Master.


3. Get yourself a notebook and always and everywhere write down thoughts and feelings that will seem surprising to you at that moment. These notes will become the basis of your creativity.


4. Find a job that is as close as possible to literature and strive to ensure that literature (the publication of your books in particular) begins to give you a livelihood where money is not the goal, but the means to freely realize your work.


5. Challenge life, fear, and prejudice. Travel across countries and continents, through books, human destinies, according to your feelings, thoughts, emotions, because literature is a history of emotions.


6. Believe in God. Otherwise, you will not write anything eternal.



What time do you usually start writing and what do you find the hardest part of the writing process?

I can write at any time of the day, but it is best written in the morning, up to 12 am. I like to write on the road, in motion, in transport, traveling, with an ink pen in a school notebook, and then I rewrite it on a computer. The very process of writing (after Freud) is like a process of love, the conception of a new life... This process (catharsis) is divinely pleasant. The most difficult part in creating a poem is rewriting it.



How has writing changed you?

I dreamed of becoming a military engineer when I graduated from a secondary village school in western Ukraine. But when I entered an elite military school in St. Petersburg (now Russia), then I heard the voice of the Universe that I am a Poet and must realize myself as a poet. For a long time I defended the right to be a poet, I was punished by the KGB with deportation to the Trans-Baikal Taiga, but after serving my sentence, I

returned to Ukraine, where I published my first poetry books, which were noticed by the best poets and literary critics of Ukraine. He worked as a journalist, researcher at the Institute of Literature, a teacher of literature at the university... Now my books are translated and published in the world... That is, literature has changed my destiny, and I hope to positively influence world literature...



What do you like to do when you are not writing?

I do not have a hobby now. Although I used to love to ride a motorcycle, fish, play with weapons, craft something from a tree... But Big Literature, Muse are jealous women...And now literature is both my job and my hobby together. When I do not write, I think about what to write and how... But I'm not a fan, not a workaholic, but an emotional, sociable person who likes to travel, chat with friends, my family of two daughters, son-in-law, and grandson. By the way, my wife also writes poetry, because I could not love a woman who does not like Poetry...



What are your FIVE key messages or themes you want audiences to remember about you and/or your book? Are these themes relevant to current news topics ,society, the world, or life in general?

This book is relevant not only for writers, but also for geopolitics, philosophers,

psychologists, ecologists, even theologians, because:


1. New song rhythm forms and meanings are proposed in this book.


2. The truth of my life (as a citizen of Ukraine, who lived and worked in many countries

of the world) is consonant with all the people of the planet who can take the subtle energy

they need from this book if they adequately catch the wave of my soul through an

interpreter.


3. Here is one verse from this my book.


4. The theme of freedom of the individual and society, the theme of love for nature, for the

homeland, for one’s parents, other people, the theme of freedom, orphanhood (the author

grew up an orphan), the struggle for independence... are expressed in this

autobiographical book in a poetic style.


5. My life credo is expressed in this book with these words: «I am ready to live for ages

and I am ready to die at every moment».



Please list up to 5 ideal target audiences for your book:

1. English-speaking lovers of poetry from all over the world


2. Representatives of the Ukrainian diaspora


3. Translators of English and Ukrainian poetry into other languages of the world


4. Teachers of modern literature


5. Composers, painters, filmmakers who can be potential co-authors of musical, artistic and other compositions with verses that are printed in this book.

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