Home > About > Our People > Authors > Askold Melnyczuk
Askold Melnyczuk
Portrait of Askold Melnyczuk

Askold Melnyczuk is the founding editor of AGNI and contributes a series of essays called “Shadowboxing.” He is professor of creative writing at UMass Boston. Excerpts from his anti-memoir in progress have appeared recently in The Threepenny Review and Epiphany. The Epiphany excerpt, “Turbulence, Love,” was cited as Notable in The Best American Essays 2010. His third novel, The House of Widows (Graywolf Press), won the Editor’s Choice Award from the American Library Association as one of the outstanding books of 2008. His second novel, Ambassador of the Dead (Counterpoint, 2001) was called “exquisite, original” by The Washington Post, and his first, What Is Told (Faber and Faber), was a New York Times Notable Book for 1994.

In 1997 Melnyczuk received a Lila Wallace-Readers’ Digest Award in Fiction. Winner of the McGinnis Award in Fiction, he has also been awarded grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council in fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. He has published stories, poems, translations, and reviews in The New York TimesThe NationThe Partisan ReviewGrand StreetPloughsharesAGNIPoetry, and The Boston Globe. His poems have been included in various anthologies, including The McGraw-Hill Book of PoetryLiterature: The Evolving Canon, and Under 35: The New Generation of American Poets. He has edited three volumes in the Graywolf Take Three Poetry Series, as well as a volume of tributes to Father Daniel Berrigan and a livre d’artiste on painter Gerry Bergstein. He also coedited From Three Worlds: New Writing from Ukraine.

He previously taught at Harvard University, the graduate Bennington Writing Seminars, and Boston University, where he edited AGNI until its thirtieth anniversary year in 2002. A research associate of the Ukrainian Institute at Harvard, he has served on the boards of the New England Poetry Club and PEN New England and has been a fellow of the Boston Foundation. In 2001 he received PEN American Center’s biennial Nora Magid Award for Magazine Editing as well as PEN New England’s “Friend to Writers” Award.

Melnyczuk founded AGNI in 1972 as an undergraduate at Antioch College. (updated 9/2018)

See him interviewed on New England Authors.

AGNI has published the following work:

Essays
To Tease a Shadow: In Memoriam, JB
AGNI 43 Print Only
Editor's Note
AGNI at Twenty-Five
AGNI 46 Print Only
Essays
Ed Hogan: In Memoriam
AGNI 47 Print Only
Essays
Shadowboxing: On Not Being Irish in Boston
AGNI 48 Print Only
Essays
Shadowboxing: Saved by Shame: Milosz’s Concupiscent Curds
AGNI 49 Print Only
Essays
In Memoriam: Solomea Pavlychko
AGNI 51 Print Only
Essays
Shadowboxing: The Future of Literature in America
AGNI 55 Print Only
Essays
Shadowboxing: Gentlemen’s Disagreements
AGNI 59 Print Only
Essays
Shadowboxing: From the Diary of a Self-hating Pundit
AGNI 60 Print Only
Essays
Shadowboxing: An Open Letter to My Students About Captain Violin, Saul Bellow, the War, and the Art of Fiction
AGNI 62 Print Only
Essays
Shadowboxing: On the Failures of Victory
AGNI 64 Print Only
Essays
Shadowboxing: Secular Antics in Bethlehem
AGNI 68 Print Only
Essays
Shadowboxing: A Proposal for Unknotting Credit Markets and Restoring Prosperity
AGNI 73 Print Only
Essays
Shadowboxing: Beating Toms
AGNI 74 Print Only
Essays
Shadowboxing: Occupational Hazards
AGNI 76 Print Only
Essays
Shadowboxing: Eyeless in Gaza and Ukraine
AGNI 80 Print Only
Essays
Shadowboxing: No, Really: What Is To Be Done in Ukraine
AGNI 81 Print Only
Essays
In Memoriam Michael Mazur, 1935–2009
AGNI 70 Print Only
Essays
James Laughlin, Poet
AGNI 37 Print Only
Essays
Shadowboxing (A Column): Socrates on Ice
AGNI 34 Print Only
Essays
Reply to Birkerts
AGNI 29 and 30 Print Only
Editor's Note
Prefixes to the Self
AGNI 28 Print Only
Editor's Note
Editor’s Note
AGNI 27 Print Only
Editor's Note
Introduction
AGNI 26 Print Only
Essays
Roman Coins, Scythian Pottery
AGNI 26 Print Only
Poetry
Introduction to This Issue’s Poetry
AGNI 21 Print Only
Poetry
Never the Kind
AGNI 17 Print Only
Fiction
The Great Acorn of Light
AGNI 12 Print Only
Poetry
One Poem
AGNI 2 Print Only

AGNI has published the following translations:

Poetry
Podillia
By Olena Zahajkewycz
Translated from the Ukrainian by Askold Melnyczuk
Poetry
from Prayers: 9, 13, 24
By Bohdan Boychuk
Translated from the Ukrainian by Bohdan Rubchak and Askold Melnyczuk
AGNI 33 Print Only
Poetry
from Prayers: 1
By Bohdan Boychuk
Translated from the Ukrainian by Bohdan Rubchak and Askold Melnyczuk
Poetry
We Who Have No Future
By Valentyn Vorog
Translated from the Ukrainian by Askold Melnyczuk
AGNI 16 Print Only
Poetry
Spring
By Mykola Rudenko
Translated from the Ukrainian by Askold Melnyczuk
AGNI 14 Print Only
Poetry
At Least, You
By Mykola Rudenko
Translated from the Ukrainian by Askold Melnyczuk
AGNI 14 Print Only
Poetry
The Flower
By Mykola Rudenko
Translated from the Ukrainian by Askold Melnyczuk
AGNI 14 Print Only
Poetry
The King of Tasmania
By Mykola Rudenko
Translated from the Ukrainian by Askold Melnyczuk
Poetry
Owl & Thrush
By Gregory Skovoroda
Translated from the Ukrainian by Askold Melnyczuk
AGNI 13 Print Only
Poetry
Eagle & Magpie
By Gregory Skovoroda
Translated from the Ukrainian by Askold Melnyczuk
AGNI 13 Print Only
Poetry
Dogs
By Gregory Skovoroda
Translated from the Ukrainian by Askold Melnyczuk
AGNI 13 Print Only
Back to top