Kulish, Mykola Hurovych [КУЛІШ МИКОЛА ГУРОВИЧ] (1892–1937) By Fowler, Mayhill C.
Mykola Hurovych Kulish was born on December 5, 1892 (Old Style; December 18 New Style) in Chaplinka, Tavricheskaia gubernia in the Russian Empire (today Ukraine’s Kherson oblast) to a peasant family. After his mother’s death, he left home to attend school in nearby Oleshky, where he met his future wife, Antonina, and his lifelong friend, Ivan Shevchenko (literary pseudonym, Dniprovskii). He started university in Odessa in 1914, but was soon conscripted into the Russian Imperial Army, and fought on the Smolensk front. After the February Revolution he served in the frontline soldiers’ committees, and he continued to fight with the Red Army during the Civil War. He joined the Communist Party in 1919. In 1922 Kulish was decommissioned to the post of school inspector in the People’s Commissariat of Enlightenment (Narkomos) in Odessa, where he began to write seriously. He joined the Odessa branch of the organization Hart [Tempering], headed the Zinovievsk (Russian imperial Ekaterinoslav, today’s Kirovohrad) branch of the Party’s literary journal Chervonyi shliakh [Red Path], and in 1925 the Soviet Ukrainian party-state promoted Kulish to Kharkiv, then the capital of Soviet Ukraine.