Volodymyr Rafeyenko is an award-winning Ukrainian writer, poet, translator, literary and film critic from Kyiv, Ukraine. He graduated from Donetsk University with a degree in Russian philology and culture studies, and from 1992 to 2018, he wrote his works in Russian, was mainly published in Russia, and was considered a representative of Russian literature. Following the outbreak of Russian aggression in Ukraine, Volodymyr left Donetsk and moved to a town near Kyiv where he wrote Mondegreen: Songs about Death and Love, his first novel in the Ukrainian language, which was shortlisted for the Taras Shevchenko National Prize—Ukraine’s highest award in arts and culture. Volodymyr learned Ukrainian from scratch, and has dedicated himself to speaking Ukrainian, rather than Russian, his mother-tongue, as an act of resistance and perseverance. Among other recognitions, he is the winner of the Volodymyr Korolenko Prize for the novel Brief Farewell Book (1999) and the Visegrad Eastern Partnership Literary Award for the novel The Length of Days (2017). Volodymyr’s prose is full of phantasmagorical images and storylines, as well as explicit and implicit allusions to well-known texts. He is sometimes called the “magical postmodernist” due to the intertextuality and richness of his prose. He is a Research Scholar at the University of Pittsburgh and writer-in-residence at City of Asylum with his wife, Olesia Rafeyenko, since June 2023.

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