Kateryna Babkina’s “Ask the Same for Everybody”

Ukrainian writer and poet Kateryna Babkina at the Lviv International Book Fair and Literature Festival on September 13, 2017.

Ukrainian poet Kateryna Babkina was on a trip to Israel promoting her work when the remarkable happened. An admirer of her poetry, translator Anton Paperny, had independently been translating her work from the Ukrainian into Hebrew.  At a presentation, Babkina heard her poetry read in that language for the first time.

The result of Paperny’s individual initiative is an anthology of Babkina’s poetry titled Ask the Same for Everybody. The volume was unveiled earlier this year at the Jerusalem International Book Fair. This fall, it was presented to Ukrainian audiences in Lviv, at that city’s literature festival, accompanied by a surprise reading of the Hebrew-language text.

Ask the Same for Everybody marks a milestone in the journey to introduce Ukrainian literature to Israeli audiences, says Babkina’s publisher, Yoav Itamar of Khaver Laet. Israelis still know little about Ukraine’s literary landscape. Babkina’s evocative volume is an important step forward.

Babkina, who is in her 30’s, has established herself as one of Ukraine’s most significant writers. Not only is she a poet, but is also a novelist, essayist, screenwriter, translator and children’s author. Her works have been translated into a number of languages, including German, French and Spanish. And now, into Hebrew.

In the videos below, Babkina talks about her work, the promotion of Ukrainian literature abroad and recites her poetry. Victor Radutsky, the esteemed Hebrew-language translator who was at the fair in Lviv, graciously orates one of her poems in Hebrew.  Josef Zissels, head of the Association of Jewish Organizations and Communities of Ukraine, was the moderator.

The publication of Ask the Same for Everybody was made possible with the support of the Ukrainian Jewish Encounter.

Presentation of Kateryna Babkina’s Hebrew-language book of poetry Ask the Same for Everybody, Lviv, September 13, 2017
(in Ukrainian and Hebrew-language reading)

Natalia A. Feduschak, Director of Communications.

Josef Zissels, Head of the Association of Jewish Organizations and Communities of Ukraine.

Kateryna Babkina, Poet and Writer.

Josef Zissels, Head of the Association of Jewish Organizations and Communities of Ukraine.

Kateryna Babkina reading her poetry.

Victor Radutsky, the esteemed Hebrew-language translator, reading Kateryna Babkina’s poetry in Hebrew.

Kateryna Babkina reading her poetry.

Question and answer.

Interview with Kateryna Babkina, Lviv, September 13, 2017
(in Ukrainian)

Ukraine’s Kateryna Babkina and Israel’s Yonatan Berg in Conversation, Jerusalem, June 13, 2017
(in English) 

Text: Natalia A. Feduschak
Videos and photos: Kyiv Office, Ukrainian Jewish Encounter; Natalia A. Feduschak


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