Lina Vasylivna Kostenko was born… 19th of March, 1930 in the town of Rzhyshchev in Kyiv region in the teachers' family
She was just a young girl when the Second World War began and Ukraine was occupied. This marked her for life and she started to put her feelings into poems at the age of 14. Later she had to fight another battle: the struggle for freedom of thought and identity in the dark years of Soviet totalitarianism. The Ukrainian language and culture were more or less banned and she was among a handful of writers who had the courage to defend those ideals.
A woman began writing poems, which were published in the early 1950s. Since 1936 Lina Kostenko lived in Kyiv where she graduated from the secondary school. She continued her education in the Kyiv Pedagogical Institute. In 1956 she graduated from the Moscow Literary Institute.
Famous works: Rays of the Earth (1957) Sails (1958) Wandering of the Heart (1961) On the Shore of the Eternal River (1977) Originality (1980) Marusia Churai (1979) Garden of Unthawed Sculptures (1987) The King of the Lilacs (1987) Selected Works (1989) Notes of a Ukrainian Madman (2010) Notes of a Ukrainian Madman
Lina Kostenko is the Professor Emeritus of the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, the Honoured Doctor of the Lviv and Chernivtsi National Universities. She is also a laureate of the Shevchenko Award and the awards of the Antonovych Foundation (USA), the Petrarka Award (Italy) and Olena Teliha Award. Her works have been translated by several European languages.