Ugly Duckling Presse

As It Turned Out
As It Turned Out

Dmitry Golynko

translated by Eugene Ostashevsky, Rebecca Bella, Simona Schneider

Poetry | $15 $14
Buy"His vocabularies mirror while evolving, resemble while describing."

Eastern European Poets Series #17. Dmitry Golynko’s first English-language release, As It Turned Out, features both earlier and more current poetry, drawing on the author’s three books as well as internet and unpublished materials. The translators collaborated with the editor and the author to achieve the closest possible correspondence to the original Russian texts, all of which appear on facing pages.

Excerpt ˇ


Et 2


spot steals up to an elementary thing

to pee on it, sniff it out, bark at it

but the elementary thing doesn't protest

lies where it's warm, doesn't stir

the elementary thing has the brains and tact

a well-tended house of brains

flowers in pots, lots of assorted crapola

an elementary thing conceived about death

about its mythology and physical fitness there's

nothing comforting, sad or funny

standing on all fours, in cubature

onerous augmentation of knowledge about

elementary things are always on duty

towards themselves, and the droplet

of blood showing on an elementary thing

isn't its problem?they don't get periodicals 

Close ˆ

About the Author

Dmitry Golynko
Dmitry Golynko, born in 1969 in Leningrad, is one of the most innovative poets in Russia today, employing his poetry to examine the relationship between post-Soviet language, culture, and society. The author of three books of poems—Homo Scribens, Directory, and Concrete Doves—Golynko has been nominated for the Andrey Bely Prize. His poetry has been translated into several European languages. In his parallel career as a cultural critic, he defended a pioneering PhD dissertation on the Russian post-avant-garde and regularly publishes essays on contemporary art and cinema. After a teaching stint in South Korea and a fellowship at the Literarischer Colloqium Berlin, he is again living in Saint Petersburg.

About the Translator

Eugene Ostashevsky

Eugene Ostashevsky is a Russian-born American poet from New York City. His debut poetry collection, Iterature, displays the dissonant rhythms, heavy unexpected rhymes, and multilingual puns that occupied him at the turn of the century, as well as a healthy interest in mathematics. The Life and Opinions of DJ Spinoza employs characters such as MC Squared, Peepeesaurus, the Begriffon and, of course, DJ Spinoza, to explore the shortcomings of axiomatic systems with the insouciance and energy of Saturday-morning cartoons. He has edited an English-language anthology of Russian absurdist writings of the 1930s by such authors as Alexander Vvedensky and Daniil Kharms. His PhD dissertation was on the history of zero. He teaches the humanities at New York University. 

Rebecca Bella was born in Boston, studied Russian at Brown University, and pursued a Fulbright Fellowship in translation in St. Petersburg, Russia. Her poems and translations have appeared in The Oregon Literary Review, A Public Space, and The St. Petersburg Review. She lives and teaches in San Francisco.
Simona Schneider is a writer and translator whose work has been published in The New Yorker, The Brooklyn Rail, A Public Space, The Modern Review, and elsewhere. She has contributed translations to Today I Wrote Nothing: The Selected Writings of Daniil Kharms (Overlook Press). She lives in Morocco.

Advance Praise

Hold it! How have we arrived at such a moment that could produce Dmitry Golynko’s poetry? How has Soviet history remade itself, faster than dial-up, in the years that lead up to these wide open poems that document the very public culture it runs with?—ROBERT FITTERMAN
Sometimes life can feel a little too lived. Witness here the “shampooski,” the “the halfwit toastmaster,” the “déjà vengeance.” Golynko not only takes on, but takes in, this problem, as he responds to a variety of Russias—whether the lush monumentality or the ornate quotidian, his vocabularies mirror while evolving, resemble while describing. —ROD SMITH
Particularly attuned to how language encodes power relations, Golynko creates a portrait of contemporary Russian life that is as darkly unsentimental as it is surgically precise.—EUGENE OSTASHEVSKY