The National Translation Award (NTA), given by the American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) at our conference, is the oldest prize for a work of literary translation. This year, the association was pleased to present the award to translators Eugene Ostashevsky and Matvei Yankelevich for their exceptional work bringing the poetry of Alexander Vvedensky into English from the Russian.
An Invitation For Me to Think by Alexander Vvedensky, translated from the Russian by Eugene Ostashevsky & Matvei Yankelevich (New York Review Books, 2013).
“Vvedensky is a marvel: a poet too little known in Russia, and not known at all in the English-speaking world, is revealed as a major 20th-century world poet—wonderful, wonderfully strange, and haunting. The alchemical translation, with its shifty rhymes and non-rhymes, intense images and absent logic, knits and unknits reality before the reader’s eyes, walking not a line so much as a live wire.” Wrote the judges of this year’s award, renowned translator Jessica Cohen, Elaine Katzenberger (publisher, City Lights), and Barbara Epler (publisher, New Directions).
Eugene Ostashevsky is the author of the poetry collections The Life and Opinions of DJ Spinoza and Iterature, both published by Ugly Duckling Presse. He is the editor of OBERIU: An Anthology of Russian Absurdism, the first collection of writings by Vvedensky and friends in English translation. Ostashevsky teaches in the liberal studies program at New York University.
Matvei Yankelevich is the author of the poetry collection Alpha Donut (United Artists Books) and a novella in fragments, Boris by the Sea (Octopus Books). His translations of Daniil Kharms were collected in Today I Wrote Nothing: The Selected Writings of Daniil Kharms (Overlook/Ardis). He edits the Eastern European Poets Series at Ugly Duckling Presse.