Kārlis Vērdiņš (1979) is a Latvian poet, literary theoretician, author of research papers, monographs, and six collections of poetry, as well as an editor of various publications. Most of his poems are addressed to adult readers, but he has also written two collections of poems for children – Alphabet Soup (2007), and Dad/ Tētis (2016). Vērdiņš has pursued a successful academic path, has a Ph.D. in Philology from University of Latvia (2009), and is known for his well-balanced reviews, his research on the prose-poem sub-genre and other subjects in Latvian literary culture (The Social and Political Dimensions of the Latvian Prose Poem, 2010). Vērdiņš is among the Latvian poets most often seen on international literary platforms, he is involved in music projects, and his contribution to art is not limited to Latvian language – he translates English and American modernists, has translated several works from Russian, including poems of the well-known creative collective Orbita. His own poems have been included in various collections in English, as well as been translated into Lithuanian, Swedish, Czech, Polish, Slovenian, Basque, and other languages. One of his most touching poems Come to Me was listed by the experts at the Southbank Centre among 50 greatest modern love poems of our day. Kārlis Vērdiņš' poetry can be viewed to be gentle, vivid and intimate; it often reveals uncomfortable truths in a piercing, playful, highly relatable way. Among his subjects is love, sex, coming to terms with one's self, all of which he talks about with a great deal of compassion, wit, and sense of irony. Poet and critic Gregory Woods has commented that "his first person is singularly hard to pin down, apparently detached while involved, precise while vague, inventing stuff while accurately recording memory". Vērdiņš has been called “the most honest Latvian poet of his generation” by his peers.
Tētis [Dad, poems for children]. Reiņa Pētersona ilustrācijas. Rīga: Liels un mazs, 2016.
Pieaugušie [Adults]. Rīga: Neputns, 2015.
Mēs [Us]. Rīga: Mansards, 2012.
Ledlauži [Icebreakers]. Rīga: Nordik, 2001; Rīga: Mansards, 2009.
Es [Me, collected poems]. Rīga: Neputns, 2008.
Burtiņu zupa [Alphabet Soup, poems for children]. Illustrated by Otto Zitmanis. Rīga: Liels un mazs, 2007.
Biezpiens ar krējumu [Cottage Cheese with Sour Cream]. Rīga: Atēna, 2004.
In other languages
Papás. Granada: Esdrújula Ediciones, 2017.
Come to Me. Todmorden: Arc Publications, 2015.
Ja. Prague: Dauphin, 2013.
Niosłem ci kanapeczkę. Vroclava: Biuro Literacke, 2009.
Титры. Maskava/Tvera: Argo-Risk/Kolonna, 2003.
Books to fall for
Kārlis Vērdiņš can sound both ironic and loving when he writes about a family’s everyday life and he will definitely make people of all ages laugh. The main character of this poetry collection is Daddy, but which Daddy is it? The one who stays at home with his son while mom is out at work, or the aggressive driver? Vērdiņš challenges his readers to rethink traditional social roles.
Rīga, Liels un mazs
Rights sold to Spanish
Kārlis Vērdiņš profile // Speaking Volumes. Live Literature Productions [EN]
Fifty greatest modern love poems list embraces 30 different countries // The Guardian, 2014 [EN]
Undīne Adamaite, Dzejoļi visiem zobiem, review of Dad // Diena, 2016 [LV]
Aivars Madris, Tēta azotē, review of Dad // Internet magazine Satori.lv, 2016 [LV]
Dainis Deigelis, Literāri anatomiski tēta (iz)meklējumi, review of Dad // Ubisunt, University of Latvia, 2016 [LV]
Artis Ostups, Dzeja pieaugušo dzīves pabērniem, review of Adults // Diena, 2015 [LV]
Anna Auziņa, Mīlēta varoņa skumjas, review of Adults // Internet magazine Satori.lv, 2015 [LV]
Anda Baklāne, Jēga, kura nepārklāj visu vienlīdz biezi: kāpēc Kārļa Vērdiņa dzejas krājumi pagaidām nekļūst sliktāki, review of Adults // Internet magazine Punctum, 2015 [LV]
Anna Auziņa, Meklējot Kārļa Vērdiņa iekšējos orgānus, review of Me // Iternet magazine Satori.lv, 2008 [LV]
2018, IBBY Honour List 2018, for Dad
2017, International Baltic Sea Region Jānis Baltvilks Prize as best collection of children's poems for Dad
2017, Dad Included in the White Ravens 2017 Best Children's Literature Catalog
2015, the Annual Latvian Literature Award for best poetry collection, for Adults
2014, poem "Come to Me" included in the selection of 50 greatest modern love poems by the London's Southbank Centre
2008, Poetry Days Festival Award as the best collection of poems, for Me
2007, the Annual Latvian Literature Award for Best Translation for Best Poetry Collection for Children, for Alphabet Soup
2001, The Diena Newspaper Award in Culture, for debut collection Icebreakers
Come to me
Esdrujula ediciones, Spain
The author, the illustrator, the translator, the publisher;
The author can sound both ironic and loving when he writes about a family's everyday life and he will definitely make people of all ages laugh.
Modern Poetry in Translation. No.1,2018
Modern Poetry in Translation. No.1,2018 (Mūsdienu dzeja tulkojumā. No.1,2018)
Title: Modern Poetry in Translation. No.1,2018
Title*: Mūsdienu dzeja tulkojumā. No.1,2018
Modern Poetry in Translation, UK
Three poems by Latvian poet Kārlis Vērdiņš translated into English by Ieva Lešinska.