Oleksa (Alexei) Kyrij (11 (23) February 1889 – January 5, 1954) – Ukrainian poet and folklorist.
Born in the village Krupichpole (now Ichnia district, Chernihiv region) in a large peasant family. In 1901 he graduated from the three-cabin village school, and was not received further systematic education. In 1906 he moved to the Kuban, where he found a place in the copyist Ekaterinodar District Court (now – Krasnodar, Russia). In 1911 he married Praskovya Mikhaylovna Chebotareva (Kyrij), which became a translator of his poems into Russian. In Soviet times, he served in the Adygeya regional court and engaged in creative work. He died and was buried in Krasnodar.
The first literary experiments O. Kyrij (poems, drama) was issued in 1909. In 1910 was issued the first collection of his poems – "Mother cornfield". Like this one, and the two following collection ("Collection of verses", 1926; "Keeping pace with the days", 1931) were published in Krasnodar.
In 1932, the Ukrainian language in the Kuban was banned and D. Kyrij was forced to write mainly in Russian.
In 1941, the first part of his epic poem "Adygea" was published, tells the story of several generations of the Circassian family. In 1948 it was published in its entirety, and with radically rewritted first part. The poem is still very popular among readers of the Caucasian republics, as many believe, truly reflects the events of the bloody Caucasian War.
In 1952, Krasnodar publishing house released a bulky volume "Selected works" – poetry O. Kyrij in Russian.
O. Kyrij paid great attention to the collection and publication of folklore of the peoples of the North Caucasus, in particular, the Circassians, to the life which he was familiar. He has prepared collections "Circassian songs, legends, myths" (1932), "Mountain songs" (1935), "Adyghe folk songs and legends" (1941), of which during his lifetime was published under the editorship of M. Rylsky, only the first.
From 2012 through the efforts of the granddaughter of the poet K. A. Kyrij and literary critic V. K. Chumachenko started work on the systematic publication of the creative heritage of O. Kyrij, which is reproduced on our site thanks to the kind permission of the publishers.
, candidate of philological sciences, professor, senior researcher at the South Branch of the Russian Research Institute for Cultural and Natural Heritage, honored worker of culture of Adygeya, Krasnodar region and Ukraine
April 11, 2017