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Vasyl Zelenchuk

Poet, ethnographer, dialectologist, cultural figure
Living (by) art
Living (by) art
Vasyl Zelenchuk: a poet who loves the letter "r"

The Museum Exhibit: Vasyl Zelenchuk

He works among books, manuscripts, letters, ceramics, embroidered towels, chests, bedspreads and other antiquities. There are mountains, a wooden fence and as asphalt road outside the window.But this was not always like that. Not long ago, the poet Vasyl Zelenchuk was the head of Kryvorivia village for ten years.

Today he is a senior researcher at the Ivan Franko Museum and he really likes this work. Mykhailo Drahomanov, Hnat Khotkevych, Vasyl Stefanyk, Mykhailo Kotsyubynsky, Lesya Ukrainka and many other prominent people once visited the house where the museum is located. So, probably, even the walls here encourage creativity.

Vasyl Zelenchuk is a true highlander and Hutsul. His roots on this land date back to the eighth or tenth generation: all the ancestors were born here. After studying in Lviv, despite all his career and vicissitudes of love , Zelenchuk returned to his home village.

He started writing when he was at the unversity, but now he is ashamed to even talk about those times. And ten years after that, his relationship with literature grew into more serious one.

I do not write much. When did I realize that I became better in writing? I majored in philology and can analyze literary works. But I am the best at criticizing myself...

Much of his literary work was written between 2 and 4 a.m. It wouldn`t often go without a mug of beer, although as Mr. Zelenchuk jokes, at present some things appear without a drink.

No matter how difficult the work of the village head was, the poet admits that at the time of the breaks between the routine bureaucracy and quarrels with the district authorities, he wrote most.

To annoy the whole bureaucracy, I deliberately started to write more. Of course, you will go to the tops, there is quiet there, maybe two poems can be born in one day. And then for two months you may not write anything...

Such pauses do not embarrass Zelenchuk – everything has its time.

And while the poems are halfway, the poet has other, no less important things. In 2019, he  sounded the 21 hours of the audiobook “Dido Ivanchik” by Peter Shikerik-Donikov. It was recorded at his studio in the mountains by ex-musician of the band “Coralli” Vasyl Yuskiv. Vasyl Zelenchuk himself became fascinated with this work in the late 90’s, when he wrote a term paper about it. And now he is quite sure that “Dido Ivanchyk” proves that the Hutsul dialect is a separate language, because not even every Hutsul can read and understand that book.

The poet slowly creates the Hutsul alphabet, although he fears that the highlenders are gradually forgetting their special words.

Mr. Vasyl, together with poets Petro Midyanka from Zakarpattia and Nazar Fedorak from Lviv, has a joint collection “Carpathians for Three”, where each of the authors published their works in their dialect language.

Vasyl Zelenchuk has known Nazar Fedorak for a long time, since his studies. And Petro Midyanka once came to Kryvorivna to his father Ivan Rybaruk. Once Zelenchuk and Midyanka sat down under an old oak tree and decided to create a joint book.

For several years now, Vasyl Zelenchuk has been working on his own collection of poetry, which will have a strict title with strong sound“r”: “Gruni and Gradzhy”. In literary language it means tops and houses. Without them, the poet can not imagine his life. And no matter how much you have to scramble up and down the Carpathians, just loves them with a tender love.

It's good in the mountains. It is necessary, probably, to be at least a week, two or three there and then it becomes clear. You were born here, there is no noise here. And there is nothing good in anything else. It's fine here.

Author of the text Natalia Patrikeeva
Photo author Serhii Havryliuk

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