The Annual Latvian Literature Award 2021 Winners Announced


2021, May 5

The Annual Latvian Literature Award 2021 Winners Announced

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Last Friday, on 30th April 2021, during the Annual Latvian Literature Award (LALIGABA) ceremony broadcast on the LTV1 channel, the winners of the Annual Latvian Literature Award 2021 in five categories were announced. The Special Award was presented to the “Prose Readings 2020” festival team led by writer Inga Žolude and the recipients of the Award for Lifetime Literary Achievement – writer and linguist Lalita Muižniece and literary historian and critic Gunārs Bībers – were honoured.

In the final voting, the Annual Latvian Literature Award committee of expert judges voted to award the LALIGABA award in the “Best Work of Poetry” category to Amanda Aizpuriete’s collection of poems “Pirms izvākšanās” (“Before Moving Out”) published by “Neputns”, edited by Cilda Rēdliha.

In the “Best Work of Prose” category, Jānis Joņevs triumphed with his collection of stories “Tīģeris” (“Tiger”), published by "Dienas Grāmata", edited by Ieva Kolmane. Read more about the author and his work here.

The award in the “Best Translation of Foreign Literature” category was awarded to Jānis Elsbergs’ translation of Charles Bukowski’s selected poems “Kodiens” (“Bite”) from English published by "Neputns", edited by Kārlis Vērdiņš.

The judges voted to award the “Best Original Work of Children’s Literature” to Marts Pujāts collection of poems “Ej nu ej” (“Go On Now”) published by "Liels un mazs", illustrated by Lāsma Pujāte, edited by Inese Zandere.

The “Best Debut” award for the most promising debut in Latvian literature was awarded to Andris Kalnozols for his novel “Kalendārs mani sauc” ("Calendar Calls Me"), published by “Orbīta”, edited by Henriks Eliass Zēgners.

The winners received special LALIGABA Award lamps designed by “MĀJO” studio and prize money.

The Special LALIGABA Prize was presented to the “Prose Readings 2020” festival team led by Inga Žolude for their immense contribution to organizing the event during the global pandemic by bringing prose authors and readers together online. In 2020, the festival was held for the 25th time and for the first time in its history it took place online ensuring a diverse programme full of topical discussions and prose readings and reaching a wider audience than ever before. The prize money was awarded to support the next festival.

During the ceremony broadcast, the LALIGABA lamps and prize money were also handed to LALIGABA Lifetime Achievement Award recipients – to the linguist and writer Lalita Muižniece for her lifelong contribution to strengthening Latvian identity and promoting Latvian folklore and language, and to literary historian and critic Gunārs Bībers for his lifetime of research in Latvian literature and drama, as well as his contribution to critique and pedagogy. 

The Annual Latvian Literature Award (LALIGABA) ceremony was created by the “Ascendum” organization and online magazine “Satori” team and the director of the show Liene Linde. The ceremony was hosted by Toms Treibergs and Marija Luīze Meļķe, the set was designed by Berta Vilipsone and music provided by Edgars Mākens. Miķelis Putniņš performed a piece composed specially for the Award ceremony.

This year’s creed “In good times and bad” honours literature’s ability to survive throughout the darkest of times providing shelter from everyday life, allowing us to travel in time and space, and giving solace and a better understanding of the world. No matter what, a book will never let you down – it will stick with you through good times and bad, in sickness and in health, accompany you through fire and water – as conveyed by the seal, the visual symbol of this year’s award ceremony.

You may read about the nominees and the recipients of the Special and Lifetime Achievement award on the Award website, as well as LALIGABA social media on Facebook, Instagram un Twitter.

The Annual Latvian Literature Award (LALIGABA) is the most important event in the literary industry in Latvia that ensures a professional assessment of literary works and recognition of authors for their excellent works published throughout the year in Latvia.

The award ceremony is held and jointly organized by the International Writers’ and Translators’ House and the Latvian Writers’ Union.

The award is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia, Baltic International Bank and Latvijas Televīzija (Latvian Television).

The main promoters and media partners: Latvijas Radio, Public Broadcasting of Latvia, internet magazine “Satori”, NGO “Ascendum”, “Delfi” news site, “Kultūras Diena un Izklaide”, “Kultūrzīmes”, magazines “Ir”, “konTEKSTS” and “Punctum”, Radio “NABA”, “Domuzīme”, the “Jānis Roze” and “Zvaigzne ABC” bookstore chains, design studio “MĀJO”, and “Omniva” delivery services.