The People's Poet Nil Hilevich has died aged 84 on March 29. His body will lie in state at the Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral in Minsk before he will be laid to rest at the Kalvaryyskiya cemetery.
Nil Hilevich was born in the village of Slabada, in the Lahoisk District of Mensk Province. He studied in a college in Mensk (from which he graduated in 1951), preparing to be a teacher. During the last year in college he worked as a teacher in one of the schools in Mensk. He continued his education at the Belarusian State University (the Faculty of Philology), and graduated in 1956. During 1960-1986 he was working at the university, and later on became a professor. In 1958 he started to work for a newspaper Zvyazda. In 1978 Hilevich joined the Communist Party. In 1980 he became the executive secretary of the Writer's Union of BSSR, and held that position for 9 years. In 1989 he became a chairperson of the Frantsishak Skaryna Belarusian Language Society. He also was the chief editor of the Society's bulletin Nasha Slova (Belarusian «Our Word»). In 1991 Nil Hilevich received a People's Poet of Belarus nomination.
Hilevich was first published in 1946. And only after eleven years he published his verse collection, Song of the Road. The book was followed by «A Feeling of Spring Passes over the Earth» (1959), Disquiet (1961), The Highway (1965), and many others. Hilevich has also published a number of humorous and satirical books.
In 1981 his chosen works were published in a two-part book. Hilevich wrote some plays which were published as a separate book «A Night In The Stork's Nest» in 1980. His novel «Having Survived the War» was published in 1988. Nil Hilevich is a productive poet, also known for writing a number of books literary criticism, translations, and folkloric studies.
In 2009 his chosen works were published in a book in Mensk. The book has 600 pages and contains the most important works of Hilevich.
Mr. Hilevich had been the last surviving holder of the Belarusian People's Poet title since the death of Ryhor Baradulin in March 2014.