Igor Brezhnev is a poet, an artist, and a book designer amongst his other sins. He is roaming the West Coast writing, thinking up new art, books and helping shape creative projects. Born in Moscow, Russia, he has been calling Portland, Oregon his home since 2013, with occasional long visits to Phoenix, Arizona, which has been his home for over twenty years.
He has first hand experience with confronting depression, homelessness, poverty and xenophobia, as well as more common ailments like heartbreak and spilled coffee. Igor writes about these subjects daily. His other pursuits include taking blurry photos of cats and flowers, making visual art from time to time, designing books and other ephemera, eating, conversing with strangers in coffee shops, delighting in verbal nonsense and getting lost by the oceanside.
Igor has authored three books so far: the book of possibilities (2012), dearest void (2016) and america is a dry cookie and other love stories (2018). He has also released his first poetry album Good Days & Bad Days in December of 2018. His poetry has been featured by NAILED Magazine in 2018 and 2019. In 2019 Igor has started a series of poems ‘nights since’ documenting his personal emotional landscape of being homeless. The result is an ongoing series of chapbooks, nights since volume one was produced in May, funding 100 ISBN numbers for Lightship Press. The second volume of nights since is available for pre-order right now and will fund further development of Lightship Press.
Igor hosts Wordlights, a weekly Saturday poetry evening at the Rocking Frog Cafe in Portland, Oregon, featuring local and touring poets. You can follow Wordlights on Facebook or Instagram for updates on upcoming events. Igor also helps organize a monthly Comedy vs. Tragedy event produced by NovaPDX.
Since publication of his last book Igor has also taken to reading his stories from stages and other raised platforms to groups of people. Some of those people claim to like the readings. In 2018 and 2019 Igor was a feature poet at Grief Rites Reading Series, Portland Poetry Slam, quarterly Hodgepodge reading series, and Slamlandia at Literary Arts. He has performed at Sahitya Adda’s “Don’t Hide The Madness” reading, The Winter Poetry Festival PDX, The Poe Show PDX 2019, Comedy vs. Tragedy #7 variety show and at multiple other events.
RANDOM FACTOIDS & PHOTOS
Igor has appeared in at least three music videos. It may be that his claim to fame will remain the appearance in “I’m Only Joking” music video by KONGOS, viewed some 12 million times, where he takes on a role of a sinister owner of a night club dedicated to promoting lunacy.
Igor has been sober for more than a decade. Instead of buying him a drink—support him on Patreon. This factoid is brought to you by twenty first century’s capitalism.
Igor has been a software hustler on the streets of Moscow, a short order cook in a diner, a head of security for a night club, a BBS SysOp, a theater actor, a dishwasher, a judo wrestler, a car service driver, a graphic designer, a sandwich delivery boy before the rise of food delivery apps, a factory worker assembling computers, a stripper, an art director, a network and systems administrator, a full time visual artist, a CTO of a failed internet startup, a reluctant street beggar, an idea shaman, a desert rave producer and a drunk mystic (not necessarily in that order and not including all paid pastimes)—these vocations combined produced a poet and a book maker.
In 2010, as a graphic designer, Igor helped Joey Robert Parks design the exhibit of 26 Blocks, an ongoing art show featuring 53 artists and celebrating Phoenix, Arizona, called "One of the 10 Most Amazing Things to do in Arizona" by USA Today. The show has been displayed in Phoenix City Hall, Burton Barr Central Library, various art galleries and is still on display at Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel. 26 Blocks exhibit photos by Andy DeLisle