FROM THE UNSENT, or Letters into Captivity

To my husband…

You and I write these letters to one another. Clean and clear.

About cherry stars, not cannons, tanks, or checkpoints.

About a cozy nest underneath the pines; happiness and victory.

About love. What would we do without it?

And only a bit about where you are now and how I feel without you.

We keep writing these letters, throwing them up in the sky.

We keep writing these words, dropping them into the water.

Since we don’t have any other entrance or exit…

Nor any other address — no street, no house, no town…

Rhymed voices will build a bridge between us.

Only Mars or Venus are farther from me than my addressee.

So… I kiss your forehead and leave it on paper.

a sad July, 2022

P.S. “Prisoners of war shall be allowed to send and receive letters and cards. If the Detaining Power deems it necessary to limit the number of letters and cards sent by each prisoner of war, the said number shall not be less than two letters and four cards monthly, exclusive of the capture cards […].”

Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, article 71.

Currently, the Russian Federation does not comply with these rules of the Geneva Convention.

Author — Oksana Stomina, poet, writer

Translator — Hanna Leliv

Illustrator — Victoria Boyko

Editor — Maryna Korchaka

Program Directors — Julia Ovcharenko, Demyan Om



At a High Cost

The morning begins with a final farewell to a soldier in our yard. He died in the war. A message about this appeared in the neighbor chat yesterday, indicating the building number and the entrance. High-rise buildings, just like low-rise ones, can’t avoid loss in wartime. There are more than 800 apartments in our building. Is there at least one unaffected by the war?


Alive. Love You

He was so eager to join the army. Finally, he got conscripted. We couldn’t get in touch with him for several days, I already began bracing ourselves to say goodbye to him. And then in the evening Valerik sent me a message: ‘Alive. Love you’.


Stencil of the 20th Century

During Andriy Lyubka’s literary soiree, we talk about literature and travel around Ukraine, about how we manage to help the Army, about the importance of every person working for our victory. Andriy reads his texts, which send waves of eager joyous laughter throughout the audience. At the end of the event, visitors applaud for a long time.