Victoria Amelina wrote that ‘as long as a writer is still read, they remain alive’. I found myself looking out to sea in the west of Ireland the day after she was buried. I wept into the rain on hearing the breeze whispering fragments of swimmers’ words.
Victoria, Vika, Vic was Ukrainian, a writer, a daughter, a niece, a sibling, a wife, a mother, a novelist, a poet, a friend and many other people besides.
Victoria told me that collecting documentary evidence of the occupier’s atrocities in her homeland would help to build the legal cases needed to prosecute the Russian leadership for Crimes of Aggression. She gave her life while helping to preserve such evidence.
Victoria had been working on ‘A Poem About a Crow’, making slight alterations before reading it in public for the first time. She read it last April at the Concert For Ukraine in Vicar Street in Dublin.
Victoria’s poem is a memorial to forgotten mothers. Ever curious, she suggested we try to name her crow. Inconsistencies among Ukrainian and Russian names on some Ukrainian birding sites had us searching with English names I knew: rook, jackdaw, raven, carrion and hooded crow. We used Latin taxonomy as the bridge: Corvus monedula, frugilegus, corax, corone and cornix. Finally they became Ukrainian: Грак (Hrak), Галка (Halka), Ворон (Voron) Ворона падаль (Vorona padal) and Ворона сіра (Vorona sira). Unsurprisingly, her crow has multiple identities.
The Bracket Books chapbooks are available for online purchase through FabHappy but perhaps you’d prefer to enquire here. They’re published each calendar month, each copy uniquely numbered and posted at the end of each month. Prices include packaging, delivery, all currency and inflation risks.
One calendar year (12 issues):
Republic of Ireland: €135
Rest of World: €145 / UK£125 / US$145
Any one issue:
Republic of Ireland: €14
Rest of World: €15 / UK£13 / US$15
Institutions add 30%