A bilingual anthology of Latvian poetry to be launched in Leipzig


APRIL 21, 2016

A bilingual anthology of Latvian poetry to be launched in Leipzig

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On March 17th at 17:00 in Halle 5/K206, the Latvian poetry anthology "Become a Ghost" ("Werde zum Gespenst") will be launched with the participation of the publisher KuentslerhausEdenkoben Der StifungRheinland-PfalzfuerKultur and some of the creators of the anthology – German poet, translator, and the anthology's compiler Hans Thill, Latvian poet, playwright and director Inga Gaile and German poet Jan Kuhlbrodt.


The poetry anthology "Become a ghost" was created as part of the project "Poetry of Neighbors – Poets Translate Poets" ("Poesie der Nachbarn. Dichter uebersetzen Dichter") financed by the Arp Museum - Rolandseck Railway Station Foundation and Art House in Edenkoben, Germany. Within the framework of the project, every summer German and non-German poets are invited to the Edenkoben Art House for a poetry translation workshop and for one week poetry is translated into German language. Translations are published in a book, and it becomes a messenger for contemporary foreign poetry for German readers. In the summer of 2015, six well-known Latvian poets took part in the project: Kārlis Vērdiņš, Amanda Aizpuriete, Liāna Langa, Uldis Bērziņš, Inga Gaile and Semjon Hanin, as well as six German poets: Carolin Callies, Claudia Gabler, Matthias Göritz, Norbert Hummelt, Jan Kuhlbrodtund and Anja Utler. As a result the anthology Become a Ghost was created, with Latvian poetry published in Latvian and German.


In talking about her impressions of the workshop, Latvian poet Inga Gaile said that "Edenkoben is a beautiful and calm town – a very good place for working on translating not so comfortable emotions and works into a different language. It was very pleasant to get to know popular German authors and talk to them about my poetry and the poetry of others."

A total of 126 German-writing poets and 156 of their counterparts from 28 countries have taken part in the project Poetry of Neighbors – Poets Translate Poets. The focus countries for each include the following: Denmark (1988), Hungary (1989), Spain (1990), Iceland (1991), Netherlands (1992), Bulgaria (1993), Italy (1994), France (1995), Norway (1996), Ireland (1997), Estonia (1998), Romania (1999), Portugal (2000), Finland (2001), Greece (2002), Russia (2003), England (2004), Ukraine (2005), Switzerland (2006), Slovenia (2007), Sweden (2008), Croatia (2009), Belgium (2010), Bosnia and Herzegovina (2011), Turkey (2012), Poland (2013), Slovakia (2014) and Latvia (2015).