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Grigoriy Kozak Edit Profile

also known as Ryhor Krushyna, Ales Apaviadalnik, Kastus Ramanovich

critic , writer , poet

Grigoriy Kozak was a Belarusian writer, poet and literary critic. His works were published in many emigre editions. He wrote poems, short stories, critical articles. Grigoriy Kozak became the first Belarusian writer who became a member of the International PEN Club.


Grigoriy Kozak was the son of a postal employee, spent his childhood in Vilnius and Slutsk district (village Evlichy). In 1914 the family moved to Ryazan. After WWI he returned to Slutsk.


In 1924 he entered General Education Courses in Slutsk.

In 1925 he entered Minsk Pedagogical College. In 1927 he entered Minsk Pedagogical Institute, became a member of the literary group "Maladnyak". He graduated from the Moscow Institute of Cinematography.


In 1924 was an activist of Belarus oriented club. In 1925 he was arrested as well as his younger brother Mikola in 1925 in the case of Yuriy Listapad; was released. In 1927 he became a member of the literary group "Maladnyak".

At the beginning of World War II remained in the occupied territories. From 1944 he lived in Germany. In the 1950-1960-s worked in Munich in the Belarusian editorial Radio "Liberty". Then he went to the United States. One of the founders in 1951 of the Belarusian Institute of Science and Art in New York. Was an editor of "Konadni" magazine.

During WWII he was able to come to the West, and this is where the poet’s activity and his fame as Ryhor Krushyna began. Starting with his first book of poetry, The Black Swan, which symbolized through this metaphor the life of an émigré, he created another six additional books during his lifetime; two works were posthumously published in Belarus after the break-up of the Soviet Union. He has also translated from the Polish, German, Russian, and Ukrainian. He was among the first founders of the Belarusian Institute of the Sciences and Art in North America.

Truly innovative, Krushyna was first to introduce the concept of hyper-dactylic rhyme in Belarusian poetry. He could easily write verse with all the words starting with the same letter, was able to have inter-rhyme capability of all stanzas up to twenty, could write verse that was read from front and back (palindromes), and was a forerunner in and experimented with haiku, canzone, sextain and other forms, which were only later picked up by Belarusian poets. His poetry is lyrical and universal, yet it is alive with the Belarusian spirit and love for his Homeland. His poetry is imbued with a tender and all encompassing love for a tortured land and its suffering people.


  • Grigoriy Kozak became the first Belarusian writer who became a member of the International Poets, Playwrights, Editors, Essayists and Novelists (international association) Club.


  • book of poetry

    • Lebedz’ chornaja [ The Black Swan] (1947)

    • Vybranyja tvory [Selected Works] (1957)

    • Vjacornaja liryka [Evening Lyrics] (1963)

    • Lebedz’ chornaja [ The Black Swan] (1968)

    • Vjasna uvosen’ [Springtime in Autumn] (1972)

    • Darohi [The Ways] (1974)

    • Sny i mary [Dreams and Reveries] (1975)

    • Cymbalist [Cymbalist] (2003)

    • Vybranyja tvory [Selected Works] (2005)

    • Kantata samotnych [Cantata of the Lonely] (2007)