Nil Hilevich

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Nil Hilevich

Nil Hilevich (Belarusian: Ніл Гілевіч, Nil Hilevič) (September 30, 1931 – March 29, 2016) was a Belarusian poet, a professor in the Belarusian State University, the author of more than 80 books of poetry, publications, and translations, and one of the founders of the Frantsishak Skaryna Belarusian Language Society.[1]


Nil Hilevich was born in the village of Slabada (Słabada), in the Lahoisk (Łahojsk) District of Mensk Province.[2] He studied in a college in Mensk (from which he graduated in 1951), preparing to be a teacher. During the last year in college he worked as a teacher in one of the schools in Mensk. He continued his education at the Belarusian State University (the Faculty of Philology), and graduated in 1956. During 1960-1986 he was working at the university, and later on became a professor. In 1958 he started to work for a newspaper Zvyazda (Belarusian Звязда). In 1978 Hilevich joined the Communist Party. In 1980 he became the executive secretary of the Writer's Union of BSSR, and held that position for 9 years. In 1989 he became a chairperson of the Frantsishak Skaryna Belarusian Language Society.[3] He also was the chief editor of the Society's bulletin Наша слова (literally: Our Word). In 1991 Nil Hilevich received a People's Poet of Belarus nomination. He has also received some other awards in literature.


Hilevich was first published in 1946. And only after eleven years he published his verse collection, Песьня ў дарогу (literally:Song of the Road). The book was followed by Прадвесьне ідзе па зямлі (literally: A Feeling of Spring Passes over the Earth in 1959), Неспакой (Disquiet; 1961), Бальшак (The Highway; 1965), Перазовы (Exchanges; 1967), А дзе ж тая крынічанька? (And Where is That Little Spring?; 1972), Актавы (Octaves; 1976), У добрай згодзе (In Good Agreement; 1979), Повязь (A Tie; 1987). Hilevich has also published a number of humorous and satirical books, such as

  • Званковы валет (The Jack of Diamonds; 1961)
  • Да новых венікаў (To New Wreaths; 1963)
  • Ці грэх, ці 2 (A Sin or Two; 1970), Як я вучыўся жыць (How I Learnt to Live; 1974)
  • Русалка на Нарачы (Mermaid in the Narač; 1974).

Nil Hilevich translates Bulgarian, Slovenian, Polish, Lutuanian, Ukrainian, and Russian prose and poetry into Belarusian. He also has written poetic verses for children, such as

  • Сіні домік, сіні дом (Little Blue House, Blue House; 1961)
  • Зялёны востраў (The Green Island;1963)
  • Добры чалавек (The Good Man; 1981).

In 1981 his chosen works were published in a two part book. Hilevich wrote some plays which were published as a separate book Начлег на бусьлянцы (A Night In The Stork's Nest) in 1980. His novel Перажыўшы вайну (Having Survived the War) was published in 1988.[4] Nil Hilevich is a productive poet, also known for writing a number of books literary criticism, translations folkloric studies such as

  • Наша родная песня (Our Native Song; 1968)
  • Вусная народная творчасць і сучасная лірычная паэзія ўсходніх і паўднёвых славян (The Folklore And Modern Poetry of The Eastern and Southern Slavic Peoples; 1978).

In 2009 his chosen works were published in a book in Mensk. The book has 600 pages and contains the most important works of Hilevich.[5]