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Eugene Ostashevsky + Brandon Downing

Eugene Ostashevsky was born in Leningrad, grew up in New York, and lives in Berlin. His latest book of poetry, The Pirate Who Does Not Know the Value of Pi, published by NYRB Poets, discusses migration, untranslatability, and second-language writing as practiced by pirates and parrots. When the book’s German translation by Uljana Wolf and Monika Rinck won the International Poetry Prize of the City of Münster, the jury singled out the original’s “polyphonic and polyglot verbal acrobatics,” “formal richness,” and philosophical depth. A short opera by Lucia Ronchetti based on the Pirate is about to premiere at the Venice Biennale. But Ostashevsky will be reading from new work.


Brandon Downing’s collections of poetry include The Shirt Weapon (2002), Dark Brandon (2005), AT ME (2010) and, most recently, MellowActions (2013). In 2007 he released a feature-length collection of short digital films, Dark Brandon: Eternal Classics, while a monograph of his literary collages from 1996 to 2008, Lake Antiquity, was published by Fence Books in 2010. He's recently completed a sixteen-book cycle based around Euripides' The Bacchae. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area in California, he has lived in New York City since 2001.