Tag Archives: Nicole Yurcaba

Bridgewater International Poetry Festival: Day Two

The festival opened up a bit today with some great informal post-reading discussions. Poet Susan Facknitz closed up the morning readings and in the time remaining helped lead and facilitate a wide-ranging discussion on the role of poetry and its possibilities in the age of internet memes and the 140-character tweet. After Stephen Corey’s talk about making every line count, he found himself in much the same facilitator’s role, as the gathering of poets seemed intent on continuing the early round-table of topics. I think all the different readers and different styles naturally cooked up some of these questions, and both Ms. Facknitz and Mr. Corey were more than up to the task of guiding these talks.

The “international” element was in power mode–

  • the morning opened up with Skype coverage from India of Susil Mandal and Indranil Acharya;
  • Filipino-American poet Patsy Asuncion read with energy, depth and passion in the morning down in the Eagle’s Nest, followed immediately by
  • Ukrainian-American Nicole Yurcaba, who read poems from her forthcoming book which focused on her her family’s history in the Ukraine and America. Both of these poets projected the authentic presence of their work in a way that was utterly personable and perspective-shifting for those in the audience.

After lunch, we were treated to a reading by Albert Russo, calling in from Paris, France.

Definitely a bracing and exciting day. And by definition in a festival packed with concurrent readings, I missed half of the events of the day! including a writer’s workshop held later in the evening by Aimee Suzara, who contributed to both of the aforementioned discussions about a minute after arriving at the college, after her flight from Oakland, CA. Whew! For those of you who saw some of the other poets, please feel free to comment on your experience. I have heard that each of the readings was captured on video, and I hope this will give us the opportunity to view the writers whose readings we missed in person.

Tomorrow I’ll be missing the morning due to engagements with an entity called Family. Among the poets I’ll miss is Angela Carter, one of my favorite Virginia poets and a great presence at our local group’s monthly meetings. Lucky for me, the afternoon of Day Three looks to be packed with quite a few poets I’m looking forward to meeting, several of whom you’ll find on the Bridgewater “Meet the Poets” page on this site.


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.”