Serhij Zhadan

Serhij Zhadan

Serhij Zhadan, born in 1974 in the eastern Ukrainian region of Luhansk, is a Ukrainian writer, poet and translator. Zhadan also organises literature and music festivals and writes rock song lyrics for the band “Sobaky v Kosmossi”. He studied German and wrote his doctorate on Ukrainian futurism.

Zhadan has received several awards, including the Hubert Burda Prize for Young Poetry in 2006. In 2012, “Die Erfindung des Jazz im Donbass” (The Invention of Jazz in Donbass) was published in German, winning the Jan Michalski Prize for Literature and the Brücke Berlin Prize in 2014. The BBC named the work, published in English as Voroshylovhrad, as its Book of the Decade.

Zhadan was an activist in the Orange Revolution, a series of protests, demonstrations and a planned general strike in Ukraine. Since the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, he has been organising relief supplies and soliciting donations for emergency aid in Kharkiv, where he lives. In October 2022, he received the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade. 


Photo: Oleksandr Osipov for KULTURAUSTAUSCH

Articles by this author

Heroes (Issue II/2018)

We are the army too

On Ukraine's response to the death of soldiers who died in the east of the country.


A story goes around the world (Issue III/2020)

A story goes around the world (chapter 1 of 8)

During the lockdown we asked eight international authors to write a story together. Chapter 1.


Living on less (Issue I/2023)

“It’s about survival”

What once seemed significant for author Serhij Zhadan - irony, coolness, status symbols -  became irrelevant overnight when war broke out in his homeland. Now, collective solidarity and the fight against “evil” is what counts. How are the people in Ukraine affected by this sudden shift?