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 Russian invasion of Ukraine, he has been organising relief supplies and soliciting donations for emergency aid in Kharkiv, where he also lives. In 2022 he received the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade.
Photo: Oleksandr Osipov