Annual Latvian Literature Award Winners Announced


2017, April 23

Annual Latvian Literature Award Winners Announced

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The Annual Latvian Literature Award ceremony was held this Friday, 21st April 2017, in the "Daile" music hall where winners in five categories were announced and awarded, and the Special Award was given to Anna Rožkalne, and Uldis Bērziņš was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

for Best Poetry Collection to Juris Kronbergs' book Juris Kronbergs "Uz balkona / bet ja visu laiku…" (On the balcony/ what if all the time... ), published by "Dienas Grāmata".

for Best Work of Prose to Jana Egle's collection of stories "Gaismā" (Into the Light), published by "Lauku Avīze".

for  Best Translation of Foreign Literature to Zigurds Skābardis and his translation of Irvine Welsh's "Porno", published by "Dienas Grāmata".

for Best Original Children's book to Uldis Auseklis' poetry collection "Kaķēns margrietiņās" (The Kitten in Daisies), published by "Lauku Avīze".

for Best Debut to Jānis Tomašs and his first collection "Melnie darba cimdi" (The Black Work Gloves), published by "Pētergailis"; more about the author and the book:

The winners were awarded the special "LALIGABA" lamps designed by "MĀJO" studio, as well as net 1500 EUR money prizes.

The Special Award was handed to Anita Rožkalne for her important contribution to literary research and her work "Kārļa Zariņa burvju aplis" (The Magic Circle of Kārlis Zariņš), published by the Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art of the University of Latvia. She also received a 750 EUR prize money.

This year's recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award was also honoured at the ceremony. The poet and translator Uldis Bērziņš, whose name is inscribed in the canon of Latvian culture, received the award for his exceptional contribution to Latvian literature and enrichment of the Latvian cultural environment and language through translations of seminal works of world literature. The laureate received the LALIGABA lamp, as well as a net 3000 EUR prize money. The award was handed to Bērziņš by the patrons of the award – the Baltic International Bank. 

All the winners were also congratulated at the venue by the young LALIGABA judges from The Riga French Lyceum and Agenskalns State Gymnasium who were encouraged to read and evaluate the works by their teachers Lita Silova and Iveta Ratinīka.

In the survey conducted by the "Delfi" news site, Jana Egle's collection of stories "In the Light" was voted the readers' favourite, and Gundega Repše's novel "Bogene" earned recognition from the "Jānis Roze" bookstore chain as the best selling book nominated for the Annual Latvian Literature Award.

During the event, chairman of both the Latvian Writers' Union and of the National Jury for the European Union Prize for Literature, Arno Jundze, also congratulated the Latvian winner of the European Union Prize for Literature 2017 – writer Osvalds Zebris, whose book "Gaiļu kalna ēnā"  (In the Shadow of Rooster Hill) earned him this prize. The novel was published by "Dienas Grāmata" as part of the historical novel series "Mēs. Latvija – XX gs." (We. Latvia. The 20th Century). The Prize will be awarded to Zebris, and the brilliant and promising prose writers from 12 other EU states, in Brussels on 21st May. The Prize was created in 2009, initiated by the European Commission and several professional European literary and publishing organizations.

This year's slogan of the Annual Latvian Literature Award "More than words" emphasizes the importance of the resonance literature has within language and beyond its borders. The award ceremony was held in a talk-show format thus allowing to discuss global answers to questions hidden between the lines. The creative team of the event was composed of the writer Svens Kuzmins, director Viesturs Roziņš, scenographer Valters Kristbergs and director of photography Guntis Lēmanis. The event was hosted by Toms Treibergs, and music was wonderfully delivered by Edgars Šubrovskis, Edgars Mākens, Oskars Jansons and Raitis Viļumovs.

The Annual Latvian Literature Award (LALIGABA) is the most important event celebrating literature in Latvia and providing professional assessment of literary works and recognition of authors for their outstanding works published in Latvia during the year.