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Poetry as Translation, Translation as Poetry with Ostashevsky
September 22, 2020 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm PDT
Eugene Ostashevsky, a Russian-American poet, will talk about the intersection between poetry and translation in his work, in particular on wordplay in Russian avant-garde poetry and his new writing project The Feeling Sonnets.
Ostashevsky is the author of three full-length poetry collections in English: Iterature (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2005), The Life and Opinions of DJ Spinoza (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2008), and The Pirate Who Does Not Know the Value of Pi (New York Review of Books, 2017). The winner of international prizes, The Pirate, described by the Italian newspaper Il Manifesto as transforming “the absurdity of Russian Futurism into a postmodern poetics of immigration,” was put to music by Lucia Ronchetti and staged at the 2019 Venice Biennale.
As translator, Ostashevsky specializes in the 1920s-30s Leningrad avant-garde group OBERIU as well as other avant-garde and contemporary experimental Russian literature. He has published OBERIU: An Anthology of Russian Absurdism (Northwestern UP, 2006), Vvedensky’s An Invitation for me to Think (NYRB Poets, 2013, winner of the National Translation Award, shared with Matvei Yankelevich), and is about to release, together with Daniel Mellis, an English-language recreation of Vasily Kamensky’s Tango with Cows, the first book of Russian Futurist typographic poetry.