Latvian poetry published abroad, other works available in Latvian bookstores

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2017, April 18

Latvian poetry published abroad, other works available in Latvian bookstores

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The number of translations of Latvian literature is growing. Liāna Langa’s collection of poems has been published in Sweden, an anthology of contemporary Latvian poetry in Germany, and Arvis Viguls’ poems have been included in “Mantis”, the American journal of poetry, criticism and translations. Translations of several Latvian classics have also been recently published in Latvia – a bilingual edition of Knuts Skujenieks’ collection “Basās zvaigznes/Босые звезды” (“Barefooted Stars”) in Latvian and Russian, and Aleksandrs Čaks “Touched by Eternity” in English.

The Swedish company Bokforlaget Edda has published Latvian poet Liāna Langa’s book of poems translated by Juris Kronbergs with the title “De Obehöriga”. Liāna Langa’s poetry has been widely translated and published abroad, as well as included in various anthologies in Scotland, the United States, Slovenia, Croatia, and Russia. In 2016, her poems, along with works by Latvian poets  Amanda Aizpuriete, Inga Gaile, Kārlis Vērdiņš, Semyon Khanin and Uldis Bērziņš, were included in the “Werde zum Gespenst” anthology, published by the German Wunderhorn.

Poems by the Latvian poet, literary critic and translator Arvis Viguls are now available in Jayde Will’s translation in the 14th issue of the American journal for poetry, criticism and poetry translations “Mantis”. So far Arvis Viguls has published two books of poetry: “The Room” (Istaba, 2009), for which he received the Latvian Literature Award and Poetry Days Award in 2009; and “5:00” (2012), awarded the Anna Dagda Foundation Award in 2012. Viguls’ creative work also involves translating poems into Latvian from other languages, including the works by such prominent authors as J. Brodsky, F.G. Lorca, W. Whitman, W.B. Yeats.

We have previously mentioned the translations of Knuts Skujenieks’ most important and widely-translated body of work “Seed in Snow” (1990), published in the US and Germany in 2016, and Italy in 2015. At the end of last year, publishing house Pētergailis issued a bilingual collection of Skujenieks’ poems “Basās zvaigznes/Босые звезды” (“Barefooted Stars”) in Latvian and Russian. The collection consists of 102 poems selected and compiled by the author himself and the translator Olga Pētersone.

One of the most significant latest events in Latvian literature has been the publishing of Aleksandrs Čaks’ seminal masterpiece “Mūžības skartie” in English. This epic poem, written in the 1930’s, is devoted to the heroic battles of the Latvian riflemen in the World War I and the Russian Civil War. Now this work is available in English with the title “Touched by Eternity” translated by Ieva Lešinska, published by Jumava.