Co-Founder, Co-Executive Director
In the late 1990s, with a group of friends, Matvei Yankelevich co-founded Ugly Duckling Presse. He designs and edits many and various books for UDP, curates the Eastern European Poets Series (since 2002), and co-edits 6×6 magazine.
His most recent books are the poetry collection Alpha Donut (United ArtistsBooks) and the novella-in-fragments Boris by the Sea (Octopus Books). He is also the author of several chapbooks, including The Nature Poetry of Matvei Yankelevich (Knock-Off), The Present Work (Palm Press), and Writing in the Margin (Loudmouth Collective). His writing has appeared in ActionYes, BOMB Magazine, Boston Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Fence, Open City, Tantalum, Zen Monster, and other little magazines.
His translations of Daniil Kharms were collected in Today I Wrote Nothing: The Selected Writings of Daniil Kharms (Ardis/Overlook) and received praise from the TLS, the Guardian, The New York Times, and elsewhere. His translations have appeared in Calque, Circumference, Harpers, New American Writing, Poetry, and the New Yorker; in the anthologies OBERIU: An Anthology of Russian Absurdism (Northwestern) and Night Wraps the Sky: Writings by and about Mayakovsky (FSG). He contributed translations to An Invitation for Me to Think: Selected Poems of Alexander Vvedensky (NYRB Poets).
Matvei has taught courses on Translation, Artists Books, Little Magazines, and Russian Poetry at Columbia University School of the Arts, a course in DIY/Small Press Publishing at Colorado College (2012, 2015), and much Russian Literature at Hunter College. Since 2009, he is a member of the Writing faculty at the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College. He has taught seminars and workshops at Wesleyan University, Naropa’s Summer Writing Program, and at the Poetry Project at St. Marks Church.
His critical writing includes essays on Conceptual Poetry (LA Review of Books) and on Russian-American poetry (Octopus). A portfolio of Contemporary Russian Poetry and Poetics appears in the magazine Aufgabe (No. 8, Fall 2009).
Matvei shares duties as UDP’s Co-Executive Director with Anna Moschovakis. He lives in Brooklyn.
* Click here for Matvei’s film/poetry collaboration with Jeanne Liotta on the BOMB Magazine site.