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Winners of the Annual Latvian Literature Award 2020 Announced

2020, May 1

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This Thursday, 30th April 2020, The Annual Latvian Literature Award (LALIGABA) ceremony was televised on LTV1 as part of the Literatūre special. Winners of the Annual Latvian Literature Award 2020 in five categories were announced, and the Special Award was given to the creators of the "Punctum" literary festival "Monta. You. Monta. I." dedicated to poet Monta Kroma. The LALIGABA Lifetime Achievement award was presented to writer Juris Zvirgzdiņš.

The panel of experts agreed that the "Best Work of Poetry" in 2020 was Jānis Vādons’ book of poems "Klusuma forma" (“The Shape of Silence”), published by "Pētergailis" and edited by Artis Ostups. Read more about the author and his work here.

In the "Best Work of Prose" category, the winner was Inga Gaile’s novel "Skaistās" (“The Beautiful Ones”), published by "Dienas Grāmata" and edited by Gundega Blumberga. Read more about the author and her work here.

In the "Best Translation of Foreign Literature" category, Uldis Bērziņš was recognized for his Latvian translation of the Old Spanish epic poem "The Song of my Cid", published by "Neputns" with Dens Dimiņš as the research editor and Ingmāra Balode as the literary editor. Read more about the translator and his work here

The award for the "Best Original Work of Children’s Literature" went to Viesturs Ķerus and his book "Meža meitene Maija" (“The Forest Girl Maija”), published by "Liels un mazs" and edited by Inese Zandere, with Rūta Briede as the art editor. Read more about the translator and his work here.

The award for "Best Debut" for the most promising new original work of Latvian literature this year went to Rvīns Varde and his collection of stories "Kas te notiek" (“What is Going on Here”), published by  "Jāņa Rozes apgāds" and edited by Renāte Punka. Read more about the translator and his work here.

The winners were presented with special LALIGABA lamps designed by the MĀJO studio and with EUR 1 500 in prize money.

The LALIGABA Special Award – the lamp and EUR 1 000 – was awarded to the creators of the “Punctum” literary festival “Monta. You. Monta. I.” for their multifaceted and unique tribute to Monta Kroma’s body of literary work and for generating a significant creative impulse in the development of Latvian poetry and encouraging its synergy with other art disciplines. Read more about the "Punctum" festival here.

In the Literatūre ceremony, one of the LALIGABA lamps along with a EUR 3 000 prize was awarded to the recipient of the Annual Latvian Literature Lifetime Award, writer Juris Zvirgzdiņš, for his astounding contribution to Latvian literature and his excellent books of children’s literature. His books for children speak to his youngest readers through stories based on real life events told in the most exciting and brilliant way. Juris Zvirgzdiņš turned to children’s literature in the '90s and has since written nearly 30 books in this genre. Through compelling adventure tales, he introduces his readers to various culturally significant places, historical events and achievements in Latvia and around the world. The author’s most renowned literary character is the little bear Tobias who also happens to be one of the teddybears in the his toy collection and, as the writer himself assures, the actual author of at least seven of the works attributed to Zvirgzdiņš. Read more about the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award here.

The Annual Latvian Literature Award 2020 ceremony Literatūre special was created by the VIDES FILMU STUDIJA team – director, author of the concept and the script Uģis Olte, hosts and literatourists Marta Selecka and Gustavs Terzens, directors of photography Valdis Celmiņš and Dainis Kļava, artist and scriptwriter Lāsma Olte, audio engineer Arvīds Ceļmalis, sound editor Artūrs Dukaļskis, assistant editing director Mārtiņš Kontants, producer Anete Franka, et al. The music for the show was written and performed by Instrumenti who had created a special musical piece for each of the works awarded. The programme was put together while observing all required safety measures connected to the statewide restrictions in place due to the global pandemic. You are welcome to watch the full recording of the Annual Latvian Literature Award 2020 ceremony on the replay.lsm.lv platform.

This year’s theme "One Train of Thought" addressed the idea of literature not only as an exciting way to spend one’s free time but also as an ever-surprising process in perpetual creative motion, just like a railway line sending trains off to new routes to discover new stops and destinations. This year, the visual identity for the event was designed by artist Mareks Hofmanis.

The Annual Latvian Literature Award is the most significant event in Latvian literature ensuring  professional review of literature and acknowledging and celebrating Latvian authors for their excellent works published during the year. 

The Award ceremony is held and organized jointly 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, The Ministry of Transport, Stock Company "Pasažieru vilciens", Baltic International Bank, Latvijas Televīzija, TV programme "Literatūre", iDeal, and LSM.LV Public broadcasting of Latvia.

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