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The title of this book hints at the fact that different substances in it, like in an alchemist’s retort, merge together to form something new. People in these poems dissolve into the elemental world, while things unexpectedly call us with human voices.


Removing spaces not only between words but between things, Shuvalova explores the phenomenon of memory on its deepest, most organic levels, where strangers and kin alike have their cardiovascular systems intertwined, like tree roots.

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‘Litakcent’ Book of the Year Prize for poetry






PEN Ukraine’s Best Books

of 2020 List


Lviv UNESCO City

of Literature Award

Special Prize

The sea and the sky of this remarkable poetry, (...) the music of its language (...), precisely recreated and felt anew, prove that Iryna Shuvalova is a first-rate Ukrainian poet and that she has a rare gift to prophesize truthfully and to move [her readers] to tears.

Kostiantyn Moskalets




It is appropriate that Kostiantyn Moskalets calls the author of this book [Shuvalova] a diviner. The poet’s sharp eye sees through things, penetrating deep into their core, into their very insides.

Natalka Belchenko

Iryna Shuvalova’s book is a fusion and a continuum of several spaces: the space of memory, the geographically defined space, and the dream-space. Thus constructed, her gothic cathedral of the Universe stands grand but, at the same time, weightless and transparent. There is a place here for people and trees, for bees, stones and shadows. And all of them speak here as equals; all of them tell their own stories, intertwined with the stories of everyone else.

Olga Bragina

Publisher: The Old Lion Publishing

Pages: 288

Language: Ukrainian

ISBN: 978-617-679-793-7

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