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Askold Melnyczuk

Askold Melnyczuk is founding editor of AGNI and contributes a series of essays called “Shadowboxing.” He is professor of creative writing at The University of Massachusetts-Boston and a member of the core fiction faculty of the graduate Bennington Writing Seminars. Excerpts from his anti-memoir in progress have appeared recently in The Threepenny Review and Epiphany. The Epiphany excerpt, “Turbulence, Love,” was cited as Notable in The Best American Essays 2010. His third novel, The House of Widows (Graywolf Press), won the Editor’s Choice Award from the American Library Association as one of the outstanding books of 2008. His second novel, Ambassador of the Dead (Counterpoint, 2001) was called “exquisite, original” by The Washington Post, and his first, What Is Told (Faber and Faber), was a New York Times Notable Book for 1994. Askold in 1972The title chapter of his fourth novel, Recovering Virgins, appears in the fall issue of The Antioch Review. For more information, visit

In 1997 Melnyczuk received a Lila Wallace-Readers’ Digest Award in Fiction. Winner of the McGinnis Award in Fiction, he has also been awarded grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council in fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. He has published stories, poems, translations, and reviews in The New York Times, The Nation, The Partisan Review, Grand Street, Ploughshares, Poetry, and The Boston Globe. His poems have been included in various anthologies, including The McGraw-Hill Book of Poetry, Literature: The Evolving Canon, and Under 35: The New Generation of American Poets. He has edited three volumes in the Graywolf Take Three Poetry Series, as well as a volume of tributes to Father Daniel Berrigan and a livre d’artiste on painter Gerry Bergstein. He also coedited From Three Worlds: New Writing from Ukraine.

He previously taught at Harvard University and Boston University, where he edited AGNI until its thirtieth anniversary year in 2002. A research associate of the Ukrainian Institute at Harvard, he has served on the boards of the New England Poetry Club and PEN New England and has been a fellow of the Boston Foundation. In 2001 he received PEN American Center’s biennial Nora Magid Award for Magazine Editing as well as PEN New England’s “Friend to Writers” Award.

Melnyczuk founded AGNI in 1972 as an undergraduate at Antioch College. (updated 5/2015)

AGNI has published the following work by Askold Melnyczuk:

AGNI at Twenty-Five
Ed Hogan: In Memoriam
Editor’s Note
The Great Acorn of Light
The Hammer on the Table
In Memoriam Bohdan Boychuk, 1927–2017
In Memoriam Michael Mazur, 1935–2009
In Memoriam: Solomea Pavlychko
Into a World of Light: Lucie Brock-Broido, 1956–2018
Introduction to This Issue’s Poetry
James Laughlin, Poet
Never the Kind
Putting Down the Gloves, Leaving the Whispering Gallery
Reply to Birkerts
Roman Coins, Scythian Pottery
Shadowboxing: A Column
Shadowboxing: A Hospitable Art: Heaney About Town
Shadowboxing: Able Was I Ere I Was Cain
Shadowboxing: All Hail Private Manning!
Shadowboxing: Ball’s Bearings and Monster from the Midlands
Shadowboxing: Beating Toms
Shadowboxing: Daytripping Chatila
Shadowboxing: For the Iraqi Dead
Shadowboxing: No, Really: What Is To Be Done in Ukraine?
Shadowboxing: Eyeless in Gaza and Ukraine
Shadowboxing: From the Diary of a Self-hating Pundit
Shadowboxing: Gentlemen’s Disagreements
Shadowboxing: Novelist Eats Babies!
Shadowboxing: On Not Being Irish in Boston
Shadowboxing: Occupational Hazards
Shadowboxing: On the Failures of Victory
Shadowboxing: An Open Letter to My Students About Captain Violin, Saul Bellow, the War, and the Art of Fiction
Shadowboxing: Prophet Loss
Shadowboxing: A Proposal for Unknotting Credit Markets and Restoring Prosperity
Shadowboxing: Putting Down the Gloves, Leaving the Whispering Gallery
Shadowboxing: Saved by Shame: Milosz’s Concupiscent Curds
Shadowboxing: Secular Antics in Bethlehem
Shadowboxing: Style and Time
Shadowboxing: The Evil of Banality
Shadowboxing: The Falling Trees, The Burning Forest
Shadowboxing: The Future of Fiction: Toward a New Internationalism
Shadowboxing: The Future of Literature in America
Shadowboxing: with Alan Greenspan
To Tease a Shadow: In Memoriam, JB
Where Is My Lariat?: The Poetry of John McKernan


AGNI has published the following translations by Askold Melnyczuk:

At Least, You by by Mykola Rudenko
Dogs by Gregory Skovoroda
Eagle & Magpie by Gregory Skovoroda
The Flower by Mykola Rudenko
The King of Tasmania by Mykola Rudenko
The King of Tasmania by Mykola Rudenko
Owl & Thrush by Gregory Skovoroda
Podillia by Olena Zahajkewycz
from Prayers (1) by Bohdan Boychuk (translated with the author)
from Prayers (1, 9, 13, 24) by Bohdan Boychuk (translated with the author)
Spring by Mykola Rudenko
We Who Have No Future by Valentyn Vorog

and read more

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