Ugly Duckling Presse

Hit Parade: The ORBITA Group
Hit Parade: The ORBITA Group

Kevin Platt & Artur Punte & Vladimir Svetlov & Sergej Timofejev & Semyon Khanin

Poetry | $18 $15
Fall 2015
Buy"… one of the best collections of poetry I’ve ever encountered."
Hit Parade is a bilingual Russian-English collection of poems by the four leading authors of the Orbita creative collective, based in Riga, Latvia: Semyon Khanin, Artur Punte, Vladimir Svetlov and Sergej Timofejev. Though their work is primarily written in Russian, the Orbita poets draw on European, Latvian and Russian traditions and contemporary scenes.

Founded in 1999, Orbita has published a series of almanacs of literature and visual art and a number of bilingual Russian-Latvian books of poetry, essays, art and photography, as well as three audio CDs and a collection of videos. Active in multi-media poetry installations for galleries and museums, Orbita has also organized three "Word in Motion" festivals of poetic video and multi-media art in Latvia. Orbita's projects have been recognized with The Latvian Writer's Union Annual Literature Award, the Poetry Days Award, the MAP Book Design Award, among others.

Edited and with an introduction by Kevin M.F. Platt, this collection includes translations (often collaborative) by Polina Barskova, Charles Bernstein, Bob Perelman, Julia Bloch, Daniil Cherkassky, Sarah Dowling, Natalia Fedorova, Eugene Ostashevsky, Karina Sotnik, Sasha Spektor, Anton Tenser, Maya Vinokour, Michael Wachtel, Matvei Yankelevich, and Platt himself.Excerpt ˇ


by Sergej Timofejev

The calm weather equipment is turned on
At full power. The trees
Hold steady in their positions.
The portable cat unit
Grows quiet on the grassy surface.
It's all very good, very powerful,
Very realistic.

Close ˆ

About the Author

Artur Punte
Artur Punte (Riga, 1977) is a poet and media-artist and one of the founding members of Orbita. A graduate of the Gorky Institute of Literature in Moscow, he is the author of three collections of poetry. Punte has translated poetry from Latvian and occasionally writes in Latvian. He has co-edited the majority of books published by Orbita, including the Anthology of Contemporary Russian Poetry of Latvia.
Vladimir Svetlov
Vladimir Svetlov is a photographer, poet, and performer. A member of Orbita since 2000, Svetlov participated on the group’s spoken word CDs 02 and 04 and has appeared in its performances throughout eastern Europe and Russia. His poetry has been translated into Latvian, English, German, and Italian. His first book of poetry and photographs, used, was published in 2014.
Sergej Timofejev
Sergej Timofejev (Riga, 1970) has published seven books of poems, most recently STEREO. One of the founding members of Orbita, Timofejev’s work has been translated into many languages and he has participated in poetry festivals across Europe. He loves summer, apples, and yesterday’s papers.
Semyon Khanin
Semyon Khanin (Riga, 1974) is the author of the books Afloat, Suppressed Details, and Just Now. His books and chapbooks have been translated into English, Latvian, and Czech. Khanin frequently collaborates with musicians in readings and performances. A founding member of Orbita, Khanin also works in three-dimensional poetry and performance.

About the Editor

Kevin Platt
Kevin M. F. Platt is chair of the Program in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory at the University of Pennsylvania. His scholarly work is focused on Russian poetry, culture and history. His translations of Russian poetry have appeared in World Literature Today, Jacket2, Fence, Common Knowledge, and other journals. He was the editor and lead translator of Modernist Archaist: Selected Poems by Osip Mandelstam.

Advance Praise

As was true in the 1920s, when many of the most interesting voices in Russian poetry popped up in unlikely places from Prague to Paris, in the new millennium Diasporic voices are again writing some of the most imaginative and attractive Russian verse.  The poets in this collection all belong to the Orbita group in Riga, Latvia and share a distinctive, wry sense of humor and a deceptively straight-forward style that will undoubtedly find a readership in American poetic circles.—Andrew Wachtel
Utterly without illusions, though redolent with delight (jocularity, longing, high velocity connectivity, and a profound appreciation for impossibility), these poets write in full knowledge that the human world is ridiculous...This is literature as the profoundest art, and one of the best collections of poetry I’ve ever encountered.—Lyn Hejinian