Readings: Bridgewater Fest Poet Nicole Yurcaba

Over the next week I’ll be posting information on the poets who will be reading from their work at the Bridgewater International Poetry Festival, Jan 15th-18th. 

Nicole Yurcaba will be reading her poetry Friday, January 16th, at 10:00am.


Nicole Yurcaba is a Ukrainian-American writer and internationally-recognized poet currently living and working as an English professor in West Virginia. Her love and dedication to words has propelled her into the arms of such publications as The Atlanta Review, The Bluestone Review, Philomathean, Outrageous Fortune, VoxPoetica, City Lit Rag, Hobo Camp Review, Two Hawks Quarterly, The Lake, and many others. Yurcaba’s first poetry and photography collection Backwoods and Back Words is available through Unbound Content on Amazon. She has been twice nominated for the Pushcart Award, and recently received 2nd Place in the Hemingway Contest hosted by Poetry Sans Frontieres for her poem “September’s Onslaught.”


The Twenty-First of March

“And we’ll believe yet more in liberty…”-Taras Shevchenko

A scene reminiscent of Kruty:
vigorous, stately soldiers
bundled in their bulky overcoats
and tryzub-adorned ushankas,
armed not with rifles this time,
but steeled with their rich bass-roaring voices
sparring the Russki hegemony’s raising
of the imperialistic flag.
Those Ukrainian boys sang “Shche ne vmerla Ukrayina,
ni slava, ni volya”–“Ukraine’s freedom
has not yet perished, nor has her glory”
in defiance of the bear’s unmarked
Kalashnikov-armed thugs.
Yes, March twenty-first:
Spring. Life. Impending war.
Invasion camouflaged as “annexation.”
A deliberate violation of international law.
The slow premeditated disembowelment
of a nation’s sovereignty.
The history texts, the scholars, won’t be permitted to remember.
The bear will sink its claws into those
who recall the truth,
and the bear will ensure
that those young men who sang at the gates
are booked as “Nazis” and “Fascists.”
What will the bear do to those of us
who, six thousand miles away,
watched via television
as those young Ukrainian men–simulacrums
of our fathers, cousins,
brothers, grandfathers
and great-grandfathers bellowed
for freedom in the face of Russian aggression,
because we stood
and we sang with our bratiya, late into the night:
“Z-hynut nashi vorozhen’ky,
yak rosa na sontsi”–“Our enemies will vanish
like dew in the sun.”

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