Paper Bridge is an outstanding book of poetry that brings the Ukrainian awareness of present time, both personal and collective, and of our world of alienation and solitude, empty like the subway. With anthological poems like “Books,” “Awakening,” “Winter Poem,” “Elegy with an Onion,” “Sermon On The Mount”, “The World is an Empty Subway Car,” and many others, Makhno builds a paper bridge between the world’s sides – it is a bridge which can burn or resist, but in both cases is a witness to the existence of a traveler through souls, bodies and spirits, through our own consciousness.
— Lidija Dimkovska, author of A Spare Life
“Poems are not just winter that we suffer through together” writes Vasyl Makhno, a poet occupied with transforming suffering into praise. His voice rises in praise of seasons, cities, lovers, and strangers. This “paper bridge” he builds is a lifeline for broken-hearted wanderers, homeless heart-breakers, hopeless romantics, and helpful ironists. Makhno is the master of a contemporary Ukrainian ballad with its incantatory psalm-like repetitions, passionate imagination, rich in detail, and lyrical to its beating core.
—Valzhyna Mort, author of Music for the Dead and Resurrected
About the Author
About the Translator
Vasyl Makhno is a Ukrainian poet, prose writer, essayist, and translator. He is the author of fourteen collections of poetry and most recently the book of poems One Sail House (2021). He has also published a book of short stories, The House in Baiting Hollow (2015), a novel, The Eternal Calendar (2019), and four books of essays, The Gertrude Stein Memorial Cultural and Recreation Park (2006), Horn of Plenty (2011), Suburbs and Borderland (2019), and Biking along the Ocean (2020). Makhno’s works have been widely translated into many languages; his books have been published in Germany, Israel, Poland, Romania, Serbia and the US. Two poetry collections, Thread and Other New York Poems (2009) and Winter Letters (2011), were published in English translation. He is the recipient of Kovaliv Fund Prize (2008), Serbia’s International Povele Morave Prize in Poetry (2013), the BBC Book of the Year Award (2015), and Ukrainian-Jewish Literary Prize “Encounter” (2020). Makhno currently lives with his family in New York City.
Olena Jennings is the author of the poetry collection Songs from an Apartment (2017) and the chapbook Memory Project (2018). Her novel Temporary Shelter was released in 2021 from Cervena Barva Press. Her translations of Vasyl Makhno’s poetry have been published in Consequence, Asymptote, and other journals. She is the founder and curator of the Poets of Queens reading series.