Bohdan Rubchak

writer  |  educator

Bohdan Rubchak was born on March 6, 1935 in Kalush, W. Ukraine. Together with his parents he emigrated to Germany in 1941. After the war they lived in a Displaced Persons camp and later in Kaufbeuren, where he lost his father in 1947. A year later he came to New York with his mother, and subsequently moved to Chicago, where he completed high school. In 1952 he enlisted in the Korean army and served until 1953. Upon his return to Chicago he resumed his studies, and pursued what was to become a distinguished career as poet, scholar, literary critic, and essayist, for which he received numerous prestigious awards. There he attended the U of Illinois at Navy Pier, followed by Roosevelt University, earning his BA in literature, followed by an MA in Comparative Literature from the University of Chicago. In 1963 Bohdan Rubchak accepted a teaching position at the U of Manitoba in Winnipeg. He returned to Chicago the following year, where he worked at La Salle Extension University until 1966. Rubchak moved to New York in 1967 to supervise the Ukrainian Desk at Radio Liberty, and subsequently to neighboring New Brunswick, NJ in 1969 to teach Russian Literature and Language at Rutgers University. In 1973 Rubchak returned to Chicago to take up a position as Professor of Ukrainian Literature and Language from a Comparative Literature perspective at the University of Illinois. Here he also taught briefly at Chicago and Northwestern Universities. He earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Comparative Literature from Rutgers University in 1977. Bohdan Rubchak retired as Professor Emeritus in 2005, and moved to Boonton, NJ. During his retirement he participated in Aquarium in the Sea, a feature documentary about the New York Group of Poets, directed by Oleksandr Fraze-Frazenko, and continued writing for a time. On September 23, 2018 Bohdan Rubchak died in a hospital in nearby Denville, NJ.

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