Genia Blum

I am a Swiss Ukrainian Canadian writer, translator, dancer.

My memoir in progress is titled Escape Artists; my published work includes fiction, creative nonfiction, flash essays, micro-flash and literary translations from German to English, as well as self-translations. My work has been anthologized, published widely in literary journals, and received numerous Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominations. “Slaves of Dance,” based on excerpts from my memoir, was named a “Notable Essay” in The Best American Essays 2019.

I was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba. My parents were World War II refugees from Western Ukraine who met in an Austrian displaced persons camp, married and emigrated to Canada. After training at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, I danced professionally in Europe, became a soloist at the Lucerne Theater ballet company in Switzerland and was guest teacher and choreographer at Kyiv State Ballet Academy in Ukraine. 

A stage career came as a matter of course to me: not only was my mother a ballet dancer, her father and grandfather were classically trained stage actors and singers in Ukraine; other relatives were opera singers, musicians, actors, and composers. My mother's brother, Bohdan Nyzankiwsky, was a writer and a poet. 

For over twenty-five years, I was the founding director of Lucerne's largest ballet school, Dance Art Studio, from which I retired in 2018 in order to devote more time to writing—although I still preside over a dance foundation named in honor of my ballerina mother, Daria Nyzankiwska Snihurowycz.

My Swiss husband and I have two children. Both are artists: our son Julian is a photographer who studies Fine Art at the Berlin University of the Arts; our daughter Daria is a London-based performance artist and graduate of RA Schools at the Royal Academy of Arts.  

My work has appeared or is forthcoming in:

  • Assay: Journal of Nonfiction Studies
  • Asymptote Journal
  • Atticus Review
  • Bending Genres
  • Bending Genres Anthology
  • Berfrois
  • (b)OINK zine
  • Complete Sentence Magazine
  • Creative Nonfiction Magazine (Tiny Truths)
  • Essay Daily
  • -ette review
  • Farsickness Journal
  • Hunger Mountain Review
  • Lost Balloon
  • Monkeybicycle
  • Petro 22
  • Queen Mob’s Teahouse
  • Scat to be Poo: An Anthology About Poo
  • Short, Vigorous Roots: A Contemporary Flash Fiction Collection of Migrant Voices
  • Solstice Literary Magazine
  • Sonora Review
  • SugarSugarSalt Magazine
  • The Oxford Anthology of Translation (OAT)
  • The Rupture (formerly the Collagist)
  • The /tƐmz/ Review
  • Under the Sun
Using Format