Ugly Duckling Presse


Eugene Ostashevsky

Poetry | $12 $10
Out of Print"a great, careening ride..."

Eastern European Poets Series #10.

Excerpt ˇ


In my head I heard melodies,
I deformed rhymes, misscanned syllables,

But I have no native language,
I can’t judge, I suspect I write garbage.

Close ˆ

About the Author

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. 

Advance Praise

Eugene Ostashevsky combines elements of the Russian Absurdists with a very contemporary and very American performance idiom. The result is a poetry at once witty, incantatory and slyly subversive. And a great, careening ride...—MICHAEL PALMER
Eugene Ostashevsky’s Iterature goes out of its way not to be too careful, reveling in off-rhyme, visual rhyme, and any other method of linguistic play that might push the poet’s language to the border of nonsense—or worse, incompetence. [...] A subterranean non-English grammar inform[s] his choices. [...] Not quite defeatist, he turns a wry, self-deprecating eye on everything and goes out of his way to dispel gravity.—BRIAN KIM STEFANS
If you want a book of poems that will force you to return to it continually both as a puzzle and model of puzzling then Eugene Ostashevsky's Iterature is for you.—OCTOPUS MAGAZINE