Iryna Shuvalova – learn to lose – translated by Patrick Corness


Iryna Shuvalova is a poet and scholar from Kyiv, Ukraine, based in Nanjing, China. She is the author of five award-winning books of poetry, including Pray to the Empty Wells available in English (Lost Horse Press, 2019). Her most recent and fifth book of poetry Stoneorchardwoods (2020) has been named book of the year by Ukraine’s LitAktsent Prize for Literature and received the Special Prize of the Lviv UNESCO City of Literature Book Award. In 2009, she co-edited 120 Pages of ‘Sodom,’ the first anthology of queer writing in Ukraine. Her poetry has been translated into 23 languages and published internationally, including in Modern Poetry in TranslationThe White ReviewLiterary Hub, Die Zeit, and others. Her forthcoming academic monograph ‘Donbas Is My Sparta’: Identity and Belonging in the Songs of the Russo-Ukrainian War explores the impact of the war on Ukrainian society. She holds a PhD in Slavonic Studies from the University of Cambridge, where she was a Gates Cambridge scholar, and an MA in Comparative Literature from Dartmouth College, where she was a Fulbright scholar. 

Patrick Corness is a literary translator and a Visiting Professor of Translation at Coventry University. He is a member of the Society of Authors and the Translators Association, London, and of the European Society of Authors. He studied Slavonic languages and German at the University of London (SSEES & UCL), Moscow State University and Charles University Prague, and was a university teacher for most of his career (Russian and German at Sunderland, Coventry, Warwick). Since 2000 he has focused on literary translation from Czech, German, Polish, Russian and Ukrainian, building a broad portfolio of publications (poetry, drama, novels and short stories, as well as articles on translation analysis). He is presently researching and translating the Ukrainian poet and dramatist Lesia Ukrainka.