Olena Boryshpolets is from Odesa, Ukraine. It is said that you can leave Odesa, but Odesa will never leave you. As such, Olena has carried Odesa with her upon her arrival in Pittsburgh, and is ready to share the incredible city with us all. She is a poet, writer, journalist, actress, culture manager, and laureate of the Konstantin Paustovsky Municipal Literary Prize for the collection of poems “Blue Star.” Olena is also a member of the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine and a co-founder of the public organization Creation Without Borders.
After the full-scale invasion of Russia into Ukraine in February 2022, Olena went to Poland and banded together with other Ukrainian women to tell the European audience about the war and its consequences through the Polish-Ukrainian play “Life in the Event of War.” She has been a Research Scholar at the University of Pittsburgh and writer in residence as part of City of Asylum’s Fellowship for Ukrainian Writers since March 2023.