Elza Johanna Emilija Lizete Pliekšāne (née Elza Rozenberga,1865 – 1943) is a Latvian poet and playwright, best known by her pen name Aspazija. She wrote her first poems at the age of 14 in German, greatly inspired by the German tradition in writing. Her first publication was in 1887 in the newspaper Dienas Lapa. Between 1891 and 1893, she wrote her first plays as Aspazija (Greek aspasios "welcome"). In her plays, she often reflected upon the woman's struggle against dogma and prejudice, and the person's right to self-determination. In 1897, her first collection of poems Sarkanās Puķes/The Red Flowers was published, and she met Jānis Pliekšāns (Rainis), a newspaper editor, poet, lawyer, and a leader of the New Current movement (Jaunā strāva). After the collapse of the movement, Rainis fled to Lithuania, and they married there. Between 1898 and 1903, Aspazija frequently visited her exiled husband in Slobodskoy, Russia, and together they translated works of Goethe into Latvian. Both are now considered among the most influential figures in Latvian culture. During the 1905 Revolution, Aspazija actively participated in socio-political events, and her play Sidraba šķidrauts/Silver Veil became a symbol of the Latvian national intellectual awakening. The plays Zaudētās tiesības/The Lost Rights and Neaizsniegts mērķis/A Goal Unattained provoked many discussions because of their critical stance against patriarchal society. To escape political persecution by the end of 1905, Aspazija and Rainis moved to Switzerland, where they lived until 1920. After their return, Aspazija joined the Latvian Social Democratic Workers' Party and was elected to the constitutional assembly, where she advocated for women's rights. Aspazija passed away on November 5, 1943, and was buried next to her husband in the Rainis' Cemetery. In 1996, Rainis and Aspazija's House-Museum was opened in their home in Dubulti.
Velna nauda [The Devil's Dime].1933.
Pūcesspieģelis [Owlglass]. 1932.
Jānis Ziemelis [Janis Ziemelis]. A play, published in periodicals. 1931.
Zalša līgava [The Sea Serpent's Bride]. 1928.
Torņa cēlājs [The Tower Builder]. 1927.
Boass un Rute [Boas and Rute]. 1925.
Aspazija [Aspasia]. 1923.
Sidraba šķidrauts [The Silver Veil]. 1903; 1905.
Zeltīte [Goldie]. 1901.
Neaizsniegts mērķis [A Goal Unattained]. 1895.
Ragana [The Witch]. 1895.
Zaudētās tiesības [The Lost Rights]. 1894.
Vaidelote [The Priestess]. 1894.
Atriebēja [Woman's Revenge]. 1887.
Zem vakara zvaigznes [Under the Evening Star]. Riga: Latvju Grāmata, 1942.
Kaisītās rozes [The Petals of Roses]. Riga: Valters un Rapa, 1936.
Dvēseles ceļojums [Journey of a Soul]. 1933.
Asteru laikā [When Asters Bloom]. 1928.
Trejkrāsaina saule [The Tricolour Sun]. Riga: A. Gulbja apg.,1926.
Raganu nakts [The Night of the Witches]. 1923.
Izplesti spārni [Spread Wings]. Riga: Gulbis, 1920.
Ziedu klēpis [Lapful of Flowers]. Riga: Dzirciemnieku izd., 1911.
Saulainais stūrītis [The Corner of Sunshine]. 1910.
Dvēseles krēsla [The Dawn of a Soul]. 1904.
Sarkanās puķes [The Red Flowers]. 1897.
Zila debess zelta mākoņos [Blue Skies in Gilded Clouds]. Riga: A. Ūdra apg, 1944.
Rudens lakstīgala [The Autumn Nightingale] published in periodicals, 1933.
Zelta mākoņi [Gilded Clouds]. Riga: Jessens,1928.
Zila debess [Blue Skies]. 1924.
No atzīšanas koka [From the Tree of Knowledge]. 1919.
Writings, 6 Vol.,1985—1988.
Writings, 5 Vol. the USA, 1963—1971.
Writings, 2nd edition, 1910.
Mana dzīve un darbi [My Life and Works], 6 Vol., unfinished; 1931—1940.
Collected Writings, 10 Vol., 1920—1924.
Rainis. Joseph und seine Brüder [Joseph and His Brothers], 1921.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Writings, Vol. 1 – 7, together with Rainis, 1903—1904.
Robert Hamerling, Aspasia: A Romance of Art and Love in Ancient Hellas (Aspasia: Ein Künstler- und Liebesroman aus Alt-Hellas), 1900.
Henryk Sienkiewicz, Quo vadis, 1899.
Vientulības krāsa [The Colour Lonely], 2004.
Dzeja divos sējumos [Poetry in Two Volumes] 1966.
Lirika [Lyrics]. Riga: LVI, 1956.
Mēnessdārzs [Moongarden]. Poetry. Riga: J.Kadiļa apgāds, 1943.
Virtual Aspazija, poetry, audio // aspazija.letonika.lv [LV]
Rainis and Aspazija's House-Museum // Museum website; www.aspazijarainis.lv [LV, EN]
Aspazija's prose in English // www.aspazijarainis.lv [EN]
Female artists compose new songs with Aspazija’s poetry// Latvians Online, 2016 [EN, LV]
Mindpower – Meet Rainis and Aspazija // Latvia.eu [EN]
Sidraba šķidrauts/ The Silver Veil, play online // Letonika.lv [LV]Reviews
Silvija Radzobe, Divas versijas par Aspaziju, review of the play Aspazija. Personal // Internet magazine Satori.lv, 2015 [LV]
1939, The Homeland Prize of the Republic of Latvia in Literature
1938, The Cross of Merit
1936, Order of the Three Stars