Born in Germany after World War II. She grew up in New Jersey and graduated in Political Science from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. She has lived in Winnipeg since 1968.
Orysia is a writer, translator, consultant, and speaker on things Ukrainian, especially culture and ethnology. She has lectured across North America, Australia, and Ukraine. She has translated ten books from Ukrainian into English, and has written numerous articles for Canadian and American publications. She was the researcher for the internationally award-winning film Pysanka by Slavko Nowytski. Her book First Star I See Tonight: Ukrainian Christmas Traditions was published in December 2015. It is the first comprehensive English-language book on the subject.
Orysia’s column “The Things We Do” appears in The Ukrainian Weekly (Parsippany, NJ). She leads an annual folk art and culture tour to Ukraine. She is retired from the University of Manitoba Libraries, and presents lectures at the McNally-Robinson Booksellers Community Classrooms in Winnipeg.
She was accepted into the Humber College Creative Writing Course in October 2014, and was awarded the Kobzar Scholarship through the Shevchenko Foundation. She received the Osvita Foundation 2013 Award (Manitoba).