Material Resistance

by Oksana Maksymchuk

Nowhere safe to go
I keep myself hidden in
an anonymous uniform

of nakedness

In the wardrobe
libelous whispers

vestments growing

no longer accepting
the enmattered form’s
arrogantly pronounced lines

refusing to contour
its crevices, fill out
its ellipses

Sartorially sardonic
material on strike

adamant, stubbornly

determined not to be
filled, once again
with body



Oksana Maksymchuk is a poet and translator. Her poetry appeared or is forthcoming in Blackbird, Cincinnati Review, Prairie Schooner, Salamander, Sugar House Review, and other journals. Judges Cole Swensen, Oliver de la Paz, and Maggie Smith named Oksana’s manuscript, Tongue Ties, a finalist for Tupelo Press’s Snowbound, Berkshire, and Dorset prizes. Oksana’s translations were featured in Words Without Borders, Poetry International, Modern Poetry in Translation, Best European Fiction series from Dalkey Archive Press, and many other venues. With Max Rosochinsky, she co-edited an anthology, Words for War: New Poems from Ukraine, and co-translated Lyuba Yakimchuk’s Apricots of Donbas and Marianna Kiyanovska’s The Voices of Babyn Yar. She won first place in the 2004 Richmond Lattimore and 2014 Joseph Brodsky-Stephen Spender translation competitions and was awarded a National Endowments for the Arts Translation Fellowship in 2019. Most recently, she has been named the 2021 Writer in Residence by the Institute for Advanced Study at the Central European University. Oksana holds a PhD in philosophy from Northwestern University.

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