Archive for June 17th, 2016


The Odessa Review

June 17, 2016

It is perhaps time to highlight The Odessa Review, a recently launched English language monthly journal with two well received editions under its belt in the city (and more widely across Ukraine).

The very high quality printed versions of both editions thus far, (Edition 3 appears soon) can be found decorating many hotel lobbies and restaurants around the city centre – those Editions perhaps pleasingly from the Editor’s point of view (Vlad Davidzon) being “well-thumbed” very swiftly after distribution, and often seen being surreptitiously stuffed into handbags and/or “manbags” (presumably for English practice purposes).

Indeed it is perhaps testament that several EU chums from within the “Brussels bubble” that come to Odessa fairly frequently not only returned to their “bubble” with copies of Edition 1 purloined from hotels and restaurants for their office “waiting rooms”, but have also asked that subsequent Editions be acquired for them to take back in the near future.  Whether it be testament to the quality of the journal, or a testament to the impression Odessa leaves on people – or both – perhaps matters little.

The on-line versions vary slightly from the printed editions, but for a content overview the on-line version of Edition 2 is here.

For the sake of full disclosure, your blog author has made minor written contributions to both published editions, and also the forthcoming publication.  For clarity all contributory prose has been written for free – thus there is no financial incentive behind this entry.

The motivation, for those that may therefore question why provide free content is to support the promotion and knowledge of the English language (per Presidential Decree that 2016 is the year of the English language in Ukraine), and also to provide the many tourists in Odessa something to read in a language with which many will have varying degrees of understanding and familiarity with that eclipses their ability with Ukrainian, or Russian, or the Cyrillic alphabet.

Generally, it seemed like a project worth supporting at the expense of but several minutes taken to write a few lines.  Hardly a particularly arduous or onerous task once a month, and all start-ups require some degree of philanthropy and good will when (hopefully) setting forth on a path to success.

Thus far the content (your author’s prose notwithstanding)  has consistently met a high bar – a literary quality commensurate with the aesthetically pleasing graphics and calibre of the physical attributes (print, paper and production etc) of the journal itself.


The longevity – or not – of The Odessa Review naturally not only relies on the continued high quality of its content and ever changing erudite contributors, but also upon generating revenue.

Falling firmly without the captured oligarchical media ownership common of Ukraine, advertising revenue, donations and various categories of philanthropy (money and/or contributory time freely given) will ultimately be the deciding factor when it comes to the fate of The Odessa Review.

As regular readers of OdessaTalk will know, there is a “Donation” facility for those readers who feel they want to buy your author a drink.  Apart from $26.00 for a blog logo/banner, all donations received ($20 here, $100 there – and they all add up) have historically been given to various charities and/or needy individuals at your author’s discretion.  A reiteration of sincere thanks to all those that have donated, and not bought your author a drink as intended, but instead helped the needy recipients of your author’s discretion is once again offered – and inevitably overdue.

It is only right therefore, to advise any and all future donors, that over the coming summer months, and with one wary eye upon the inevitable horizon relating to the longevity (or not) of The Odessa Review, any donations will head its way – for it is a (primarily cultural) cause worthy of support.

Naturally, once the bitter winters return to Ukraine, donations will make their way, as historically they have, to assorted and random pensioners weighing a single potato to see if it falls within their meager pension, or those forced to deliberate over when and whether to turn on their heating at the expense of that single potato.

As for the grant givers with purses allocated to “bridge building” between “the West” and Ukraine, or incoming market entrants to Ukraine, or external entities wishing to attract Ukrainian attention/customers that may be looking for advertising space whilst supporting something worthy of support in the process, then do contact those young and energetic (English, Ukrainian and Russian speaking) people at The Odessa Review (and not this blog).

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