Eugene Ostashevsky: The Pirate Who Does Not Know the Value of Pi

Join Pushkin House and the New York Review of Books on International Pi Day for an evening of poetry that is always fresh and unpredictable. The Russian-American poet Eugene Ostashevsky will read from The Pirate Who Does Not Know the Value of Pi, a novel-in-poetry whose protagonists, a pirate and a parrot, are shipwrecked on a deserted island, where they try to communicate with indigenous people who do not exist. Fast, funny, and packed with multilingual play, especially between English and Russian, The Pirate Who Does Not Know the Value of Pi mixes old-school hip-hop with philosophy of language, and children’s nonsense poetry with early modern controversies about animal intelligence. It is being released on International Pi Day along with its companion volume, The Fire Horse: Children’s Poems by Mayakovsky, Mandelstam, and Kharms, which combines Ostashevsky’s translations of Soviet-era children’s verse with illustrations from Soviet 1920s editions.  

Eugene Ostashevsky was born in Leningrad, grew up in New York, lives in Berlin, and teaches in Paris. Apart from The Pirate Who Does Not Know the Value of Pi, a novel-in-poetry about communication challenges affecting pirate-parrot relationships (NYRB Poets 2017), he is the author of The Life and Opinions of DJ Spinoza, a book of poems about rationalism and its discontents published by Ugly Duckling Presse in Brooklyn, NY. As translator, he works primarily on the group of writers surrounding Daniil Kharms, as well as on other figures in the Russian avant-garde tradition. He is the winner of numerous awards, including the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Fellowship and the National Translation Award from the American Literary Translators Association.  

This event is part of the  #RussianChildrensBookFestival #ФестивальРусскойДетскойКниги

For more information and Festival Programme CLICK HERE.