Nobel Prize-winning Belarusian journalist and oral historian Svetlana Alexievich is known for her signature documentary-style novels, which mingle fiction and reporting. Her five-part Voices of Utopia mirrored the lives of people in the Soviet Union. With her writing, she often criticizes the governments of Belarus and the Soviet Union.
Evgeny Morozov is an American writer, intellectual, and researcher from Belarus. He is best known for conducting studies and research into the social and political implications of technology. His writings have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers, including The New York Times and The Guardian. In 2018, Evgeny Morozov was included in the most influential Europeans list published by Politico.
Yanka Kupala was a Belarusian writer and poet who went on to become a symbol of culture of Belarus. Apart from writing poems and plays, Kupala also translated the works of other writers and poets into the Belarusian language. A dramatized version of Yanka Kupala's turbulent and tragic life was depicted in a biopic titled Kupala.
Vasil Bykaŭ was a Soviet and Belarusian author best remembered for writing many important novellas and novels about the Second World War. He is also credited with translating his own works from Belarusian to Russian. Vasil Bykaŭ's work earned him several prestigious awards such as the USSR State Prize, Lenin Prize, and San-Valentino International Golden Prize.
Elena Rzhevskaya was a writer who also worked as a war interpreter for the Soviet Union. She is best remembered for her memoir, Memories of a War-time Interpreter, according to which she was part of the Soviet unit that was tasked with finding Adolf Hitler's corpse. According to Rzhevskaya, Hitler's body was found on 4 May 1945 by Ivan Churakov.
Anna Strunsky was a Belarusian-born Jewish-American author and supporter of socialism. Strunsky wrote about the labor movement and social problems and also worked towards eradicating capital punishment and war. Anna Strunsky was an important member of many liberal-left groups, such as the American League to Abolish Capital Punishment, the League for Industrial Democracy, and the War Resisters League.
Yakub Kolas was a Belarusian writer and poet. Best remembered for his association with the Belarusian Academy of Sciences, Kolas served as its vice-president in the late 1920s. He often expressed sympathy towards the Belarusian peasantry in his works. In 1946 and 1949, Yakub Kolas was honored with the prestigious Stalin Prize.
Maksim Bahdanovič was a Belarusian poet, translator, journalist, historian of literature, and literary critic. Widely regarded as one of the progenitors of modern Belarusian literature, Bahdanovič was the first poet to bring several new lyrical forms into Belarusian literature. Maksim Bahdanovič is also remembered for translating the works of famous poets like Paul Verlaine, Alexander Pushkin, Heinrich Heine, and Horace.
Award-winning poet Valzhyna Mort has already gained significant fame in her home country, Belarus, by the time she decided to move to the US. She is known for her works such as I’m as Thin as Your Eyelashes and Music for the Dead and Resurrected, with the latter winning the Griffin Poetry Prize.
Polish author and playwright Franciszka Urszula Radziwiłłowa is best known for her works that reflect emotional distress and complexities of relationships. Born into Polish nobility, she was a duchess. Married to nobleman Michael "Rybonka,” she also took major administrative decisions in Nesvizh, which is now in Belarus.
Popular Belarusian poet Larysa Hienijus was also a prominent part of the Belarusian national movement. Apart from poems, she had penned a couple of children’s books, too. Post-World War II, she spent days in Soviet camps, where she was tortured. She settled in Zelva later but refused to accept Soviet citizenship.
Natallia Arsiennieva was a Belarusian poet, playwright, and translator. She is credited with authoring the lyrics to the famous hymn, Mahutny Boža. After the Second World War, Natallia Arsiennieva also worked as an editor for the popular newspaper, Biełarus.
Belarusian poet and activist Alaiza Pashkevich co-founded the revolutionary party Belarusian Socialist Assembly. She was married to Lithuanian activist and social democrat Steponas Kairys. She also launched a children’s magazine named Łučynka. A major part of the democratic movement in Belarus, she eventually died of typhus at age 39.
Award-winning Belarusian poet Volha Hapeyeva is also an academic who has taught at a couple of universities. She often writes on themes such as loneliness, the female body, and war. A PhD in linguistics, she has also translated several works and often collaborates on audio-visual performances.
Kanstantsia Builo was a Belarusian playwright and poet. Best remembered for writing poems based on her country's peasantry, Builo also wrote about World War II heroism and the Belarusian folklore. I Love Our Land is one of her most popular poems.
Apart from being a talented director, Yelena Trofimenko also established Youth Studio XXI. Her films include the critically appreciated Falling Upward and the Golden Knight-winning short film The Fear. She has also performed in several of her movies and plays, such as Chairs and The Human Voice.
Elena Kazantseva is a Belarusian singer, songwriter, and poet. Apart from recording music albums, Kazantseva also plays the piano and the guitar. A critically acclaimed poet who writes in the Russian language, Elena Kazantseva is best known for writing songs and poems about love.
Born into a peasant family, Belarusian poet Danuta Bichel-Zagnetova initially became a teacher of language and literature. Socially and politically active, she has also been part of the Belarusian Popular Front movement. She won the Kupala State Prize of the BSSR for Where to Walk Barefoot. She has also written several children’s books.