(born in 1957, Kyiv)
Oles Ilchenko is a poet, author, screenwriter and journalist. He studied biology and geography in the National Pedagogical Dragomanov University, and later graduated from the Maxim Gorky Literature Institute. Biology and literature combined inspired him to write several books for children: Travels of the Raindrop, Where Animals Live, Our Birds, Beetles and Other Respectable Creatures, and others. Ilchenko also writes detective, fantasy and horror books.
He also published eight books of poetry from Winter Garden (1991) to Some Dreams, or Kyiv that is No More (2007) and Conversations before Silence (London, 2017). His novel A City with Chimeras won the readers competition the Correspondent magazine, was recognized as ‘Best Book of the Year’ in 2010, and was short-listed for Book of the Year award and BBC Book of the Year award in 2009.
Besides this, Ilchenko is an accomplished journalist, who worked for 1+1 TV channel in 1999–2007 and produced several entertainment shows. In 2006, Ilchenko was awarded with Teletriumph and TEFI. He wrote a lot on culture, in particular on Kyiv and the city’s history. Since 2011, Ilchenko lives and works in Switzerland.
Ilchenko has strong ties with Kyiv, being a Kyivite in the fourth generation. The city of Kyiv is a constant presence in his poems. He also captures the disappearing old Kyiv in photos. A City with Chimeras is a detective story about the famous architect of Kyiv Władysław Horodecki, set in Ilchenko’s favorite era: the belle-epoque Kyiv just before the WWI. As he says: ‘For me, this is the golden age of Kyiv which I love and understand. So, I felt at home with the age of Horodecki…’