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Taras Shevchenko


Taras Shevchenko

Taras Shevchenko, self-portrait

TARAS SHEVCHENKO (1814-1861) is the most important Ukrainian poet of the 19th century. Born a serf, he was orphaned early in life and grew up in great poverty. Shevchenko’s freed was bought in 1838 and he studied painting at the St. Petersburg Academy of Art. His first collection of poetry, Kobzar ("The Bard" 1840), is generally acknowledged to be the most important event in Ukrainian literature. He was arrested in 1847 and punished with twenty five years of compulsory service in a military outpost in Central Asia for writing poems that satirized the Tsar. Forbidden to write or paint, he continued to do so clandestinely. Six of the poems included here are from this period. He was released in the spring of 1858. That fall he met Ira Aldridge in St. Petersburg and drew his portrait. Shevchenko tried to visit his homeland the following summer, but was arrested and sent back to St. Petersburg. He died March 10, 1861, a day after his 47th birthday and seven days before the emancipation of serfs in Russia was announced.

Translations of Taras Shevchenko by Virlana Tkacz and Wanda Phipps
in Yara Arts Group's "Dark Night Bright Stars" at La MaMa Experimental Theatre, NY

The Sky's Unwashed

A Cloud, Floating Behind the Sun

If Only You Knew

It's All the Same to Me

June 3- 19, 2016
La MaMa & Yara Arts Group present:

Dark Night Bright Stars

In 1858 the Ukrainina poet Taras Shevchenko was set free after 10 years imprisonment.
He met the great African American actor Ira Aldridge and drew his portrait.

new theatre piece created by Yara Arts Group
press release | photos | more photos |reviews
La MaMa 74A East 4th St, NYC

Tickets $18/$13 (students& seniors) (646) 430-5374 or

"Yara Arts Group Productions Looks Beyond the Icons"
by Virlana Tkacz, on the making of "Dark Night Bright Stars"

video:song from Yara's "Dark Night Bright Stars"


Ira Aldridge & Taras Shevchenko Nov 2014:
Two Icons and Friends | review and photos

Ukraine spring 2014:

reviews and photos | Photo albums: Odesa | Lviv | Kyiv
more photos from Kyiv show


    Yara Arts Group
    306 East 11th St., #3B
    New York, NY 10003 USA


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