Matvei Yankelevich was born in Moscow and moved to the United States at age four. He is author of the novel in fragments Boris by the Sea (2009), the collection Alpha Donut: The Selected Shorter Works of Matvei Yankelevich (2012), and many chapbooks, including Writing in the Margin (2001) and the long poem The Present Work (2006). Yankelevich is highly regarded as a translator from Russian; his translations of Daniil Kharms were collected in Today I Wrote Nothing: The Selected Writings of Daniil Kharms (2007). Other translations have appeared in Oberiu: An Anthology of Russian Absurdism (2006), Night Wraps the Sky: Writings by and about Mayakovsky (2008), and Alexander Vvedensky: An Invitation for Me to Think (2013).
Yankelevich is a cofounder and co-executive director of Ugly Duckling Presse, where he edits books, curates the Eastern European Poets Series, and edits the press’s magazine 6x6. He has taught courses in translation, publishing, and Russian literature at Columbia University, Colorado College, Hunter College, Wesleyan University, and Naropa’s Summer Writing Program. He is a member of the writing faculty at the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College. Yankelevich lives in Brooklyn.