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Viktor Neborak
(Ukraine, 1961)   
 
 
 
Viktor Neborak

Viktor Neborak, a tall imposing figure with a booming voice that makes a microphone come to life when he performs his poetry, was born in 1961 and is one of the leading representatives of the mid-to-late 1980s cultural revival in Ukraine. He is best known as a poet and founding member (along with Yuri Andrukhovych and Oleksander Irvanets) of the Bu-Ba-Bu literary performance group that gained enormous popularity in the late 1980s and 1990s in Ukraine. The syllables of the group's name stand for burlesque (burlesk), a puppet show or farce (balahan), and buffoonery (bufonada). Neborak has also been active as a prose writer, translator, essayist, and cultural activist, as well as a performer with the rock band Neborok, which was extremely popular in Western Ukraine and Poland.

He is the author of six collections of poetry: Amber Time (1987), The Flying Head (1990), Alter Ego (1993), Conversation with a Servant (1994), An Epos about House Number Thirty-Five (1999) and a selected works edition that gathers the best of his works in a single volume Litostroton (2001). His poetry from The Flying Head is an innovative cutting edge work with a great amount of linguistic and poetic experimentation. Alter Ego has a much more reflective tonality than The Flying Head and represents a diametrically opposed voice to the poet's performance voice. An Epos about House Number Thirty-Five shifts to the modality of a poetry of everyday life experiences. Neborak is also the author of two books of memoiristic essays about many of his contemporaries entitled Return to Leopolis (1998) and Introduction to Bu-Ba-Bu (2001).

He has been very active as an interviewer for a monthly cultural program for television in Lviv and can be seen as an organizer and participant in myriad cultural events of the city. He is married to the poet Yaryna Senchyshyn and lives on the outskirts of Lviv with his two children.

© Michael M. Naydan

Poetry:

Burshtynovyj chas (Amber Time), Kameniar, Lviv, 1987
Litajucha Holova (The Flying Head), Molod', Kyiv, 1990
Alter Ego, Ukrains'kyj Pys'mennyk, Kyiv, 1993
Rozmova zi sluhoju (Conversation with a Servant), Ivano-Frankivsk, 1994
Epos pro 35-tu khatu (An Epos about House Number Thirty-Five), Azart, Lviv, 1999
Litostroton, Vydavnytstvo Lvivskoji Politekhniky, Lviv, 2001

Prose:

Povernennja v Leopolis (Return to Leopolis), Klasyka, Lviv, 1998
Vvedennia v Bu-Ba-Bu (Introduction to Bu-Ba-Bu), Klasyka, Lviv, 2001

Academic:

Perechytana 'Eneida' (Aeneid Reread), Astron, Lviv, 2001

English translations:
The Flying Head and Other Poems, Sribne Slovo, Lviv, (2005)

In anthologies:
Echoes from Ukrainian Canada (1992)
From Three Worlds: New Writing From Ukraine (1996)
Leading Contemporary Poets: An International Anthology (1997)
A Hundred Years of Youth, Litopys, Lviv (2000)

 



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