The poet Natalka Bilotserkivets was an active participant in Ukraine’s Renaissance of the late-Soviet and early independence period.
We’re fortunate at Solstice to count two translators of her work, Ali Kinsella and Dzvinia Orlowsky, as members of our community.
Ali and Dzvinia’s most recent book, Eccentric Days of Hope and Sorrow: Poems by Natalka Bilotserkivets (Lost Horse Press, 2021), brings together a selection of Bilotserkivets’ poetry written over the last 40 years. In our Reviews & Interviews section, you’ll find a marvelous conversation in which Ali and Dzvinia discuss their work with Jennifer Martelli.
Our Poetry section includes a Ukraine Spotlight—a mixture of astounding new work, curated by guest editor Sam Cha, along with a pair of Bilotserkivets poems from the Solstice archives (translated by Ali and Dzvinia).
Poetry in Translation is a Solstice specialty, and this issue is no exception. To cite just one example, I’ll share the outstanding opening of “The Great Plan B” by Justyna Bargielska, translated from Polish by Maria Jastrzębska:
On my ninth birthday the scoutmaster
gave me a card with the number of days
I’d already lived.
Our Spring Issue also marks the debut of a new member of the Solstice community, contributing editor Zibiquah Denny. “The Takeover,” appearing in Nonfiction, recounts her memories as a thirteen-year-old witnessing a direct action by the Milwaukee American Indian Movement (AIM), as “several carloads of Native people broke into the old abandoned Coast Guard Station (CGS) on Lake Michigan on the east side of Milwaukee, Wisconsin in August of 1971.”
I’ll close this note with a shout-out to one of the short stories in our Fiction section: “Boomtown Girl” by Shubha Sunder. It’s the title piece from Shubha’s forthcoming collection, which won the 2021 St. Lawrence Book Award and is due out later this year from Black Lawrence Press. Congratulations, Shubha! Solstice is honored to be the home of this story.
Crafting this issue, story by story, essay by essay, and poem by poem has been a delight. I want to thank Lee Hope, Solstice’s founding editor, my predecessor as editor-in-chief, and current Fiction Co-Editor, for her patience and care in passing the baton. I also want to express my gratitude to Solstice’s staff and community, who make my job enjoyable and easy: William Betcher, Barbara Siegel Carlson, Richard Cambridge, Ewa Chrusciel, Eileen Cleary, Anjali Mitter Duva, Robbie Gamble, Amy Grier, Richard Hoffman, Jill Johnson, Peter Katz, Megan Leduke, and Andrai Whitted, as well as Ali, Dzvinia, Jennifer, Sam, and Zibiquah. My deepest thanks, as well, to the donors who’ve supported our mission and the readers, contributors, and submitters who make each issue possible.