Nicole Yurcaba

Hollow Bottles

“Yurcaba’s poetry takes us on a musicality ride of memory in Hollow Bottles; carefully taking each line to show us how to dance, play instruments as gently as one can at seventeen, and how to undress a room with a glance of a past lover’s voice, playing us right into Morrissey’s weepy words, puts us right into his hands, where, we are already putty– Why do you come here? Why do you hang around? and then, pulls us back, yet again… Friendship’s ungraspable entity with melodrama’s orison Oh, Jesus Christ. The idea of never speaking to you makes me sick. . Please…don’t go. One can take bottles, empty to half empty and blow softly or harshly to re-create sounds, as did in some of our family’s old country days—some call it junk percussion, possibly a throw away or discarded mood changer, but Nicole Yurcaba takes it from her recycled adoration bin, and gives us words to reflect upon. Especially to one who’s not familiar with Ukrainian practices, we learn in “Dancing to Ruslana in the Barn”… a thundering toe-heel stomp on dusty wooden floorboards, arms spread like falcon’s wings; a right lower leg swung swiftly to meet the left knee; (This is how Dedushka danced) knees then bent, launching the flight of an attempted (and failed) Cossack’s high jump… It makes you, well me, want to find a record store and revisit each note, each lyric, and the artists that have left lasting impressions on Yurcaba.”

Razorblade Kyiv


Kyiv, Ukraine, 2015. Meet 28-year old Ukrainian Anichka Vuznok: a Goth, a professor, a writer, a war correspondent, and the word she hates most-“victim.” After her ex smears her name and her reputation online using email and social media spiked with snippets of revenge pornography, Anichka finds herself at the mercy of her father, a diplomat whose money and power and influence control his daughter and her professional and personal realms. Fervently, Anichka protests her father’s solution to the problem he believes she created herself: a former Kommondo Spiezlekraefte sniper-turned-bodyguard-for-hire named Peter, a man Anichka wants to believe she can survive without…until her stalker arrives in Kyiv, and she grasps that Peter may even save her from her own self-destructive desires. But when Anichka’s father orders Peter on a mission to the Eastern Front, Anichka bucks her father’s control and twists her life onto an entirely new path, one she hopes will make her disappear…forever.

Razorblade Kyiv is the emotionally charged, acerbic account of a tumultuous young woman struggling to survive the toxic onslaught of cyberstalking and war, to overcome the loss of freewill and the demise of her desire to live, and to conquer the undying desire to escape her given and chosen circumstances via any means possible.

Nicole Yurcaba is a poet, photographer, and essayist who teaches English at Bridgewater College in Bridgewater, Va. Her poems, essays, and photography have appeared in The Bluestone Review, The Lindenwood Review, West Trade Review, The Atlanta Review, and many other online and print journals. She lives in West Virginia. Hollow Bottles is her 1st poetry collection, and Razorblade Kiyv is her thriller novel.