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Congratulations to Prof. Yuliya Ilchuk

Screenshot of Griffin Poetry Prize 2024 Shortlist announcement with headshots of Amelia Glaser, Yuliya Ilchuk, and Halyna Kruk and A Crash Course in Molotov Cocktails book cover.

Congratulations to Yuliya Ilchuk (Associate Professor, Slavic Languages and Literatures) and Amelia M. Glaser (Professor, UC San Diego and Stanford alumna, Ph.D., Comparative Literature, 2004) for their translation of the Ukrainian poet Halyna Kruk's poetry that was short-listed  for The Griffin Poetry Prize, the most prestigious poetry prize.

A Crash Course in Molotov Cocktails 
Amelia M. Glaser, USA and Yuliya Ilchuk, Ukraine translated from the Ukrainian written by Halyna Kruk, Ukraine Arrowsmith Press

Judges’ Citation:
“These poems of witness may be wrought from a horrendous war, composed in times of turmoil and void of leisure, yet the Ukrainian poet Halyna Kruk's mastery is evident on every page, the keenly observed scenes and perplexing details visualizing the dire situation of her country but also its people's defiance: ‘war doesn’t suit the rest of the world / like mutilation with an evening gown: / the look’s too heavy / the language too sharp / the details too brutal’. Kruk's poems grapple with the bare existential questions, every so often turning into prayer, into conversations with a merciless god, pleading to not ‘quiet the voice of anger’. What do you take with you when ‘even keys / are non-essential’? How to maintain hope when realizing that human warmth may be deadly in times of war and its thermal imaging devices, how to cope with the loss of certainties while grasshoppers keep on chirping and shells are landing on the fields like birds of passage? Sometimes tender, offering surprising moments of stubbornly persistent beauty, sometimes bitter and hard, Kruk's poems are also a reminder for the rest of the world to ‘take us in, like unpleasant medicine’. A necessary and powerful collection.”