Andriy Bondar


Born in historic Kamianets’-Podilsky, Bondar enters the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy in 1994 and moves to Kyiv, where within a few months he loses a thick notebook containing all the poems he has written in the past 3 years. He starts “from a blank slate”. In 1997 he wins the first prize in the most notable literary contest for youth held by the Smoloskyp publishing house, which in 1998 publishes Andriy’s first book Spring Heresy.
One can only speculate as to why this book did not reach the readers. It is a fact that it was not sold at regularly held youth seminars, contests and Smoloskyp readings. Was Andriy’s poetry too adult for “youth contests”? Did the uncensored language frighten the publisher? Was Bondar insufficiently patriotic for this very patriotic publishing house?
It is truly unclear. But within a few years Bondar decides to remind everyone about himself and in 2001 publishes a collection of his poetry, Truth and Honey, which includes selections from his previous book along with new pieces. This collection is an example of the most refined poetry, a wondrous and magical literary game, and metaphorical richness. The Bondar of Truth and Honey is a real “poet of culture”, who enthusiastically plays the glass bead game, testing the abyss of his encyclopedism.
Nevertheless, poetry triumphs, by exhausting the well of cultural visions. After Truth and Honey, Andriy stops writing poetry for a while. He writes prose, which he prints practically nowhere. He writes numerous essays, articles and reviews. He works for periodicals and newspapers.
And suddenly, at the end of 2002, a completely new Bondar appears – harsh, uncompromising, and free-versing. He passionately throws himself at life, as if till then he had lived in a measure of illusion – and suddenly his eyes opened up. His new poetry draws polar reviews: either complete admiration or categorical rejection. In January 2003, the poetry readings of Andriy Bondar, Yuri Andrukhovych and Serhiy Zhadan gather unheard of full houses. Almost an hour after the start of the reading, people who couldn’t make it inside, were still standing by the Youth Theater, waiting …

His long-awaited book Primitive Forms of Ownership appears only in September 2004. The poetry is very ironic and self-critical. The world with an unrestrained blast of microparticles bombards every cavity of the poet’s body, and comes out with the blood, in the strangeness of tender and piercing poems of a person, who is not afraid to live. His last poetry collection is Songs, Songs appeared in 2014.