Read Russia has partnered with New York Review Books to kick off its second season with a book launch party for "An Invitation for Me to Think" by Alexander Vvedensky on Wednesday, March 27th at 6:30 pm. (doors at 6 pm.) at Pravda Bar in New York City. Hosted by NYRB Classics Editor Edwin Frank and the book’s translators Eugene Ostashevsky and Matvei Yankelevich, the launch will celebrate the work of one of the most influential poets and thinkers of twentieth-century Russia and the first of his books to appear in English.
An Alexander Vvedensky poem doesn’t make a statement. It is an event. Mostly unpublished during his short life, he remains the least known of the great twentieth-century Russian poets. A founding member of the avant-garde collective OBERIU, Vvedensky wanted to enact “a poetic critique of reason”; a project the Soviet state, increasingly hostile to the avant-garde, deemed counterrevolutionary. Vvedensky was arrested multiple times, eventually dying of pleurisy on a prison train in 1941.
Read Russia (readrussia2013.com), founded in 2012, is a New York-based initiative established to celebrate Russian literature and Russian book culture. Through innovative programs supporting the English-language translation and publication of Russian works, Read Russia provides American audiences with fresh opportunities to engage in person, on screen, and online with Russia’s literary leaders and heritage.
An Invitation for Me to Think is one of the first titles in the new NYRB Poets series, which will continue the spirit of NYRB Classics with a focus on the most vital, various, and universal form of literature: poetry.