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Volha Hapeyeva


First Language(s): Russian
Second Language(s): English, Belarusian


Volha Hapeyeva is an award-winning Belarusian poet. She has had poems published in the USA, Austria, Germany, Poland, Georgia, Lithuania, and other countries. She writes poetry, prose and drama, as well as occasionally books for children. Volha Hapeyeva has participated in numerous literary festivals and conferences, and international residency scholarships. She collaborates with electronic musicians and visual artists to create audio-visual performances.


What was your favorite book as a child?

I cannot say I had one particular book. I liked stories by Gerald Durrell and by Gianni Rodari, but mostly I browsed the books in French and German, or Encyclopedias and dictionaries, which I could find in my grandparents’ house.

Do you remember the original reason or motivation why you started writing creatively?

I guess I was a very lonely child and words were my best friends. I like different games with words and I spent a lot of time thinking.

What was the most adventurous or thrilling thing you ever did/experienced?

When I went to China for my PhD, while I was already in the last year of my PhD in Minsk. It was a crazy experience as I did not really know all the details. And after one week, I fled home. It did not turn out as I expected. The other thing which comes to mind is that I managed to break a wooden plank with a fist, just like a Shaolin monk when I was at a WENDO class.

Do you listen to music while reading or writing?

Very rarely. Music often is too strong for me in terms of influence and I think that if I listen to something I should dedicate my full attention to it, otherwise it is a bit disrespectful.


The Gift
Issue Spring '20

Supported by:

Land Steiermark: Kultur, Europa, Außenbeziehungen
U.S. Embassy Vienna
Stadt Graz