Co-Founder, Co-Executive Director
Matvei Yankelevich is the author of Some Worlds for Dr. Vogt (Black Square), the poetry collection Alpha Donut (United Artists), the novella-in-fragments Boris by the Sea (Octopus), and 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 A Perimeter, ActionYes, BOMB Magazine, Boston Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Damn the Caesars, Fence, Mandorla, Open City, Tantalum, Weekday, Zen Monster, and other little magazines.
He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (for translation) and the New York Foundation for the Arts (for poetry).
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 co-translation (with Eugene Ostashevsky) of Alexander Vvedensky’s An Invitation for Me to Think (NYRB) received the National Translation Award in 2014. His translations have appeared in Calque, Circumference, Harpers, New American Writing, Poetry, and the New Yorker; and in several anthologies, including OBERIU: An Anthology of Russian Absurdism (Northwestern) and Night Wraps the Sky: Writings by and about Mayakovsky (FSG).
Matvei teaches for the MFA in Creative Writing and Literary Translation at Queens College (2015-2016), and Columbia University’s School of the Arts (Writing Division). 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, Long Island University, Hunter College, Colorado College, Naropa’s Summer Writing Program, and the Poetry Project.
His critical writing includes essays on Conceptual Poetry (LA Review of Books) and on Russian-American poetry (Octopus). He edited a portfolio of Contemporary Russian Poetry and Poetics for the magazine Aufgabe (No. 8, Fall 2009).
In the late 1990s, with a group of friends, Matvei 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 (since 2000). He shares duties as UDP’s Co-Executive Director with Anna Moschovakis.
He lives in Brooklyn.