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Pray to the Empty Wells 

From one of Ukraine’s most distinct female voices in poetry, Pray to the Empty Wells is Iryna Shuvalova’s first book-length collection of poems in English. Deeply rooted in Ukraine’s folk culture, Shuvalova’s poetry re-mixes traditional spirituality with pulsating eroticism and acute awareness of the natural environment. Presented in dual-language format, the poems in this collection offer a poetic meditation on memory and life’s natural cycles.


Each word, like a life force, forms a connective substance that weaves between lines and verses. Though the wells are empty, Shuvalova’s language overflows with rich images, corporeality, and a metaphoric sensibility that reaches across place and time and reverberates as a prayer against ancient stone.

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Премія за найкращий переклад Американської асоціації українських студій

Почесна згадка

In these superb translations the strange charm of her voice lures us, catches in our throat and threatens never to leave us.

Sasha Dugdale




Here, like in Oleh Lysheha’s otherworldly poetry, we surrender to magic conjured up by familiar objects, as we become aware of a Nature that is very conscious and breathing on the back of our necks.

Virlana Tkacz

This is beautiful work.

Ilya Kaminsky

Publisher: Lost Horse Press; Bilingual edition

Pages: 159

Language: English, Ukrainian

ISBN-10: 099919948X

ISBN-13: 978-0999199480

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