|Several Lithuanian poetry publications are published this year in the UK. The spring issue of "Poetry Review" (Volume 98:10 Spring 2008), "The Green Issue", came out together with the a supplement "Contemporary Lithuanian Poets", published by the Poetry Society in association with the Lithuanian Writers’ Union. In autumn “Bloodaxe” will publish selection of Tomas Venclova poetry “The Junction”. In August, the new anthology of the Lithuanian poetry “Six Lithuanian Poets”, published by "Arc Publications" in publisher's series “New voices from Europe & beyond”, will be launched in Manchester, Edinburgh and London.
The new anthology "Six Lithuanian Poets" includes poetry by Eugenijus Ališanka, Daiva Čepauskaitė, Gintaras Grajauskas, Aidas Marčėnas, Kęstutis Navakas and Sigitas Parulskis. According to the publishers, “This anthology introduces six poets who were born in the 1960s, when Lithuania was part of the Soviet Union, but who mostly started publishing after the country achieved independence in 1991. Unlike their predecessors, the poets of this generation are not concerned with political themes but rather with issues of aesthetics and existential quests. While each does so in a unique way, they share a strong sense of language and an ironic, postmodern perspective, following contemporary European literary trends rather than domestic poetic traditions.“
Tony Ward, managing editor and editorial director founded "Arc Publications" in 1969. Currently the company produces 25 new titles a year. Publisher still adheres to his founding principles: to introduce the best of new talent to a UK readership, including voices from overseas that would otherwise remain unheard in Britain, and to remain at the cutting edge of contemporary literature.
There will be three poetry readings related to the new publication, with participation of the brightest poetic talents from Lithuania: Eugenijus Ališanka, Gintaras Grajauskas and Sigitas Parulskis, an award-winning novelist. The readings will take place from 11 to 13 August, at the Manchester City Library, Edinburgh International Book Festival and Gallery at Foyles in London respectively. In association with Literature Across Frontiers, Books from Lithuania and the Lithuanian Embassy in London.
Events related to the anthology “Six Lithuanian Poets”:
11 August, 1pm, Manchester City Library (St. Peter's Square, M2 5PD), FREE
12 August, 4:30pm, Edinburgh International Books Festival, Writers of the World, Writers’ Retreat (Charlotte Square Gardens, Edinburgh), £6-4. Tickets can be purchased online.
13 August, 6:30pm Gallery at Foyles (Charing Cross Road, 113-119 Charing Cross Road, WC2H 0EB), FREE, but advance booking essential, email email@example.com to reserve or call 020 7935 9872
Eugenijus Ališanka (b. 1960 in Barnaul, Russia) is a poet, essayist and translator. He worked for the Culture and Art Institute of Lithuania; in 1994 – 2002 – a director of international programmes in the Lithuanian Writers Union, a director of an international poetry festival „Spring of Poetry“ (Poezijos pavasaris). Since 2003 he has been working as a chief editor of magazine Vilnius, published in Russian and in English as The Vilnius Review. He has published five books of poetry, including the award-winning Equinox (1991) and The Return of Dionysus (2001), and two collections of essays. Ališanka has translated poetry by Zbigniew Herbert, Wisława Szymborska, Marcin Świetlicki, Carolyn Forshé, Dannie Abse, Bernardine Evaristo, Jerome Rothenberg, Desmond Egan, Jacek Podsiadło, and others. Ališanka has also received a ‘Spring of Poetry' award for translation of poetry. His work has been translated into English, French, Polish, Swedish, Russian, Finnish, German and other languages. Ališanka lives and works in Vilnius.
Gintaras Grajauskas (b. 1966 in Marijampolė) is a poet, prose writer and jazz musician. He worked with the Lithuanian Radio and Television, and since 1994 he has been working with the daily Klaipėda as editor of its literary supplement. He sings and plays bass with the group The Rockefellers. His first book Tattoo was published in 1993, followed by A Bone Pipe. His poetry has been translated into English, German, Swedish, Polish and other languages. He lives and works in Klaipėda.
Sigitas Parulskis (b. 1965 in Obeliai) is one of the most outstanding contemporary Lithaunian writers. A poet, playwright and essayist, he lectures on Creative Writing at the Philology Faculty of Vilnius University. His first book, All That out of Longing, was published in 1990 to be followed by several books of poetry, two books of essays, a collection of short stories and two novels. He is also the author of several plays and scripts for theatre. In 1995 his book of poetry Of the Dead won the prestigious Jatvingian Award. His play From the Lives of the Dead received the 1996 Kristoforas Award. In 2002 the novel Three Seconds of Heaven was recognised as best book of the year and given the Lithuanian Writers’ Union Prize. In 2004, Parulskis received the National Prize in literature. Work by Parulskis has been translated into Russian, English, Latvian, Finnish, Polish, Czech, French, German, Greek, Swedish, Italian and other languages. He lives in Vilnius.