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Artist: Irwanez, Oleksandr

Oleksandr Irwanez - Copyright by Maria Svidryk
  • Style: Literature
  • Year: 2023/24
  • Origin: Ukraine

Oleksandr Irvanez (UA), born in Lviv (Lviv) in 1961, spent his childhood and youth in Rivne, in northwestern Ukraine, studied in Dubno, and graduated from the Maxim Gorky Institute of Literature in Moscow in 1989. As early as 1985, together with Yuri Andrukhovych and Viktor Neborak, he had founded the Lviv trio of writers Bu-Ba-Bu. Irvanez's work includes poetry, prose, plays, and literary criticism. One of his ten plays (A Little Piece of Betrayal for a Female Performer) was performed with great success at the Theaterdepot Stuttgart in the mid-1990s. In addition to poetry collections and plays, several collections of stories and novels have appeared in recent years, including Rivne-Rovno, in German: Pralinen vom Roten Stern (2017).

The author has received several awards and fellowships, including in German-speaking countries the Akademie Schloss Solitude Stuttgart fellowship (1995), the Villa Waldberta Munich-Starnberg fellowship (2001), from KulturKontakt Austria of the city of Vienna (2002), a Fulbright fellowship (2005-2006), and a fellowship at the Literary Colloquium Berlin (2009).

At the beginning of Russia's attack on Ukraine, Oleksandr Irvanez was staying at his residence in Irpin, near Kyiv. He spent two weeks in the embattled and eventually occupied city. He managed to evacuate, first to Rivne and then to Berlin at the end of April 2022. In Berlin, Irwanez received a scholarship from the Volkswagen Foundation and worked at Humboldt University on a project on literary reflection on trauma. He also composed a cycle of poems during that time and wrote a short novel about Ukrainian refugees in the style of a satirical and socially critical fantasy story. In Bamberg, he plans to write more prose texts.