Russian Translators, Friday, September 13, 7PM

The Bridge presents

An evening of Russian translators

 so good

Bela and Ainsley bigger

 it’ll make you bite through your coffee cups

September 13, 2013, 7PM
Melville House, 145 Plymouth Street, Brooklyn, NY

in collaboration with Ugly Duckling Presse


Bela Shayevich and Ainsley Morse (pictured above)
(reading from their new translation, I Live I See by Vsevolod Nekrasov)

Genya Turovskaya
(co-translator of The Russian Version by Elena Fanailova, winner of the 2010 Best Translated Book Award)

Keith Gessen
(co-translator of It’s No Good by Kirill Medvedev)

and the translation collective CEMENT:
Marijeta Bozovic, Maksim Hanukai, Roman Utkin

Here’s who they are:

Ainsley Morse has been translating 20th- and 21st-century Russian and (former-) Yugoslav literature since 2006. A longtime student of both literatures, she is currently pursuing a PhD in Slavic literatures at Harvard University. Recent publications include Andrei Sen-Senkov’s Anatomical Theater (translated with Peter Golub, Zephyr Press, 2013). Ongoing translation projects include prose works by Georgii Ball and Viktor Ivaniv and polemical essays by the great Yugoslav writer Miroslav Krleža.

Bela Shayevich is a writer, translator, and illustrator living in Chicago. Her translations have appeared in It’s No Good by Kirill Medvedev (UDP/n+1, 2012) and various periodicals including Little Star, St. Petersburg Review, and Calque. She was the editor of n+1 magazine’s translations of the Pussy Riot closing statements.

Genya Turovskaya’s original poetry and translations from Russian have appeared in Chicago Review, Conjunctions, A Public Space, 6×6, Aufgabe, jubilat, Gulf Coast, Jacket, and other publications. She is the author of the chapbooks, Calendar, The Tides, and New Year’s Day. She is the co-translator of two books of poetry, Red Shifting by Aleksandr Skidan (2008) and The Russian Version by Elena Fanailova (2010), both published by UDP. She is also an associate editor of the Eastern European Poets Series at UDP.

Keith Gessen is a novelist, critic, translator, and one of the founding editors of n + 1. He is the author of the novel All the Sad Young Literary Men (Viking, 2008). His translations include Voices from Chernobyl (Dalkey, 2005), Lyudmila Petrushevskaya’s There Once Lived A Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbor’s Baby (co-translated with Anna Summers, Penguin, 2009), and Kirill Medvedev’s It’s No Good (co-translated with Mark Krotov, Cory Merrill, and Bela Shayevich).

Cement is a translation collective of young writers and academics specializing in Russian and other Slavic languages, and interested in the cultural legacies of the Second World. Loosely formed in 2012, the group has focused mostly on poetry and politics. Members choose a text, find partners, and work collectively to translate and edit work that would be otherwise unavailable and often too long and daunting to handle alone. The translators of Cement have worked on the closing statements of the Pussy Riot trial (published with n+1:; documents and public letters for the Russian Socialist Movement (RSD); and poetry from Mayakovsky to the recent issue of the St. Petersburg journal Translit.

The group grows and changes with each project, but the founding members are Marijeta Bozovic, Rossen Djagalov, Maksim Hanukai, Katharine Holt, Ainsley Morse, and Roman Utkin. Their work is available online at

Ugly Duckling Presse is a nonprofit art and publishing organization whose mission is to produce artisanal and trade editions of new poetry, translation, experimental nonfiction, performance texts, and books by artists. With a volunteer editorial collective of artists and writers at its heart, UDP grew out of a 1990s zine into a Brooklyn-based small press that has published more than 200 titles to date, with an editorial office and letterpress workshop in the Old American Can Factory in Gowanus. UDP favors emerging, international, and “forgotten” writers, and its books, chapbooks, artist’s books, broadsides, and periodicals often contain handmade elements, calling attention to the labor and history of bookmaking. Its website is:

With thanks to our friends at Melville House.


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