Ugly Duckling Presse


In 1993, Matvei Yankelevich began publishing the Ugly Duckling zine, which transformed, in the late 1990s, into Ugly Duckling Presse. At UDP, Matvei curates the Eastern European Poets Series (since 2002), and edits and designs various books. He also co-edited the Emergency Gazette (1998-2002) and 6×6 magazine from 2000-2017. He served as UDP’s Co-Executive Director with Anna Moschovakis for about ten years, and is now a member of the Working Collective as Managing Editor and Production Manager.

Matvei 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 MagazineBoston ReviewThe Brooklyn RailDamn the CaesarsFence, Mandorla, Open CityTantalum, 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 CalqueCircumferenceHarpersNew American WritingPoetry, 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).

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).

Matvei teaches for the Columbia University’s School of the Arts (Writing Division) and 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 Queens College, Wesleyan University, Long Island University, Hunter College, Colorado College, Naropa’s Summer Writing Program, and the Poetry Project.

He lives in Brooklyn.

[photo credit: Sara Renee Marshall]

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