Hit Parade: The Orbita Group
Authors: Artur Punte, Vladimir Svetlov, Sergej Timofejev, and Semyon Khanin
Editor: Kevin M.F. Platt
Translators: Polina Barskova, Charles Bernstein, Bob Perelman, Julia Bloch, Daniil Cherkassky, Sarah Dowling, Natalia Fedorova, Eugene Ostashevsky, Karina Sotnik, Sasha Spektor, Anton Tenser, Maya Vinokour, Michael Wachtel, Matvei Yankelevich, and Kevin M.F. Platt
Publisher: Ugly Duckling Presse (2015)
Hit Parade is a bilingual Russian-English collection of poems by the four leading authors of the Orbita creative collective, based in Riga, Latvia: Semyon Khanin, Artur Punte, Vladimir Svetlov and Sergej Timofejev. Though their work is primarily written in Russian, the Orbita poets draw on European, Latvian, and Russian traditions and contemporary scenes.
Founded in 1999, Orbita has published a series of almanacs of literature and visual art and a number of bilingual Russian-Latvian books of poetry, essays, art, and photography, as well as three audio CDs and a collection of videos. Active in multi-media poetry installations for galleries and museums, Orbita has also organized three “Word in Motion” festivals of poetic video and multi-media art in Latvia. Orbita’s projects have been recognized with The Latvian Writer’s Union Annual Literature Award, the Poetry Days Award, the MAP Book Design Award, among others.
Edited and with an introduction by Kevin M.F. Platt, this collection includes translations (often collaborative) by Polina Barskova, Charles Bernstein, Bob Perelman, Julia Bloch, Daniil Cherkassky, Sarah Dowling, Natalia Fedorova, Eugene Ostashevsky, Karina Sotnik, Sasha Spektor, Anton Tenser, Maya Vinokour, Michael Wachtel, Matvei Yankelevich, and Platt himself.
"As was true in the 1920s, when many of the most interesting voices in Russian poetry popped up in unlikely places from Prague to Paris, in the new millennium Diasporic voices are again writing some of the most imaginative and attractive Russian verse. The poets in this collection all belong to the Orbita group in Riga, Latvia and share a distinctive, wry sense of humor and a deceptively straight-forward style that will undoubtedly find a readership in American poetic circles."
"Utterly without illusions, though redolent with delight (jocularity, longing, high velocity connectivity, and a profound appreciation for impossibility), these poets write in full knowledge that the human world is ridiculous...This is literature as the profoundest art, and one of the best collections of poetry I’ve ever encountered."