In this Books from Lithuania newsletter you will read about:
- Books from Lithuania’s 10-year anniversary celebration on 8 October,
- Impressions from presentations of Lithuanian literature abroad held July through October,
- Our participation in two European projects next year,
- New translations of Lithuanian literature
BOOKS FROM LITHUANIA CELEBRATES ITS 10TH BIRTHDAY
In recognition of its 10th birthday, Books from Lithuania invited its friends and collaborators—writers, translators, literary critics, publishers, and other partners—to gather at the Contemporary Art Centre in Vilnius on 8 October. Poetry by Tomas Venclova was read at the event in ten languages to give symbolic meaning to the work of Books from Lithuania over the past 10 years. We were pleased that 30 translators of Lithuanian literature from 20 countries came to Lithuania for the event as well as the annual seminar for translators of Lithuanian literature held in Nida. We presented an exposition of works of Lithuanian literature being translated into 22 languages at the event.
The agency, which was founded by the initiative of three private individuals in 1998, seeks to promote Lithuanian literature in the world. The arguments of publishers Lolita Varanavičienė and Saulius Žukas along with writer and translator Antanas Gailius were accepted by then Culture Minister Saulius Šaltenis, and the Ministry of Culture became the agency’s fourth founder and supporter. The agency has gathered momentum and grown over the past decade, and today the results of its work speak for themselves:
Books from Lithuania has completed over 350 major and minor projects in a decade.
Lithuanian literature has reached 43 countries through the agency’s efforts.
We have cooperated with hundreds of partners in those countries.
Books from Lithuania works and cooperates with 148 translators of Lithuanian literature across the world.
137 writers have participated in Books from Lithuania’s projects, meaning that their work has directly or indirectly been presented at least once and in at least one country.
The agency has participated in 14 international book fairs, some of them yearly.
Together with Litexpo, Lithuania’s exposition and conference centre, and the Lithuanian Publishers’ Association, Books from Lithuania has organised 10 book fairs in Vilnius.
Books from Lithuania has published 38 publications of various types in eight languages, all presenting Lithuanian literature.
Books from Lithuania has subsidised 115 translations of books by Lithuanian writers into 23 languages and financed 59 sample translations into 14 languages.
The agency has organised numerous projects that have gained international attention and significant acclaim, such as “Literature Express Europe 2000”, “Lithuanian Literary Programme at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2002”, “Lithuanian Literary Programme at the Gothenburg Book Fair 2005”, and “Lithuanian Literary Programme at the Turin Book Fair 2007”.
You can read more about the agency’s work over the past decade, its successes, and the most important projects and programmes that have gained it the widest acclaim in a publication dedicated to Books from Lithuania’s 10th anniversary.
LITHUANIAN “KUKUTIS” VISITS ENGLAND
The wisdom of Marcelijus Martinaitis’ “Kukutis”, or wise fool, could be heard on 4-5 July at the Ledbury Poetry Festival, the UK’s most famous and largest. Martinaitis, a classic author of Lithuanian literature and national prize recipient, participated at the invitation of festival organisers along with the noted Latvian poet Juris Kronbergs in a discussion called “Can Poetry Change Anything?” The audience was also presented with the poet’s work: his famous Kukutis Ballads (Kukučio baladės) and poems from his new collection, Suspect K. B. (K. B. įtariamas) were presented and read by Martinaitis’ translator, the poet Laima Sruoginis.
Through his poetry and comments, Martinaitis managed to mesmerise not only the hall packed with poetry lovers, but also the heads of the publishing house Arc Publications, who had come to the event. The publishers took little time in deciding to publish an English version of Kukutis Ballads in 2009 in the UK.
Organisers: Ledbury Poetry Festival and Books from Lithuania.
Expenses for the poet’s and translator’s trip were sponsored by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania.
KLAIPĖDA POET AND ROCKER GINTARAS GRAJAUSKAS PARTICIPATES IN SCOTTISH POETRY AND MUSIC WORKSHOPS
Poet and musician Gintaras Grajauskas participated in the “Music of Language” poetry and music workshops held 4-12 August at the Crear work space in Argyll as well as in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Together with other poet-musicians, Grajauskas had the opportunity to create a programme, record it at a professional recording studio, and appear on 9 August at Crear and on 11 August at the Edinburgh Book Festival in the Writers’ Yurt. Also participating in “Music of Language” were the poet Thomas A. Clark, poet and musician Lise Sinclair, poet and musician Gerry Cambridge of Scotland, and poet Adalsteinn Ásberg Sigurdson and musician Ástvaldur Traustason of Iceland.
Event organised by Literature Across Frontiers and the Scottish Poetry Library in cooperation with Books from Lithuania and the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania in the United Kingdom.
ENGLISH-LANGUAGE ANTHOLOGY OF LITHUANIAN POETRY PRESENTED IN MANCHESTER, EDINBURGH, AND LONDON
Several collections of Lithuanian poetry have appeared this year in the United Kingdom. A supplement entitled “Contemporary Lithuanian Poets” was published at the end of March along with the Spring 2008 issue of the London-based Poetry Review. The British publishing house Bloodaxe published “The Junction”, a collection of Tomas Venclova’s poetry, this autumn. And in August, “Six Lithuanian Poets”, a new anthology of Lithuanian Poetry compiled by Eugenijus Ališanka and published by the English publishing house Arc Publications was presented in Manchester, Edinburgh, and London. Arc Publications, based in northern England, specializes in poetry, publishing about 25 works per year, and is one of the most important poetry publishers, presenting quality contemporary poetry from abroad to the British reader.
Poetry by Eugenijus Ališanka, Daiva Čepauskaitė, Gintaras Grajauskas, Aidas Marčėnas, Kęstutis Navakas, and Sigitas Parulskis appear in the anthology. According to the publishers, “all the poets presented in the anthology were born after 1960, when Lithuania was part of the Soviet Union. Most of them began to publish their work after the country became independent. In contrast to their predecessors, who were mostly interested in political themes, the poets of this generation are more inclined toward aesthetic and existential questions in their work. Although each of them does this in his or her own way, they are united by their strong feel for language and ironic and post-modern attitude, supported more by the tendencies of contemporary European poetry than local traditions.”
The new collection of Lithuanian poetry was presented in Manchester, Edinburgh, and London on 11, 12, and 13 August. Three Lithuanian poets—Eugenijus Ališanka, Gintaras Grajauskas, and Sigitas Parulskis, participated in the presentations. Readings in Edinburgh took place in the context of the United Kingdom’s most established literary event—the Edinburgh International Book Fair.
Poets’ tour was organised in cooperation with Literature Across Frontiers, Books from Lithuania, and the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania in the United Kingdom.
Expenses for the poets’ trip were sponsored by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania.
SPECIAL ATTENTION FOR LITHUANIAN LITERATURE AT LITERARY FESTIVAL IN SLOVENIA
Special attention was paid to contemporary Lithuanian literature at Vilenica, the prestigious international literary festival held on 3-7 September in Lipica, Ljubljana, and other cities in Slovenia. For several years, the festival has drawn attention to lesser-known literatures and has successfully presented Basque and Irish literature. At this year’s festival, Lithuanian literature was presented not only by five “living” writers, but also by Artuma, an anthology of contemporary Lithuanian literature compiled by Bernarda Pavlovec Žumer, translated into Slovenian by Bernarda Pavlovec Žumer and Lucija Štamulak, and published by Slovene Writers’ Union Publishers.
“From Smuggling One’s Essence to the Freedom of One’s Reality”, a table dedicated to contemporary Lithuanian literature, took place on 5 September in Ljubljana. Festival organisers later hosted an evening of works by Lithuanian writers; work by Eugenijus Ališanka, Birutė Jonuškaitė, Sigitas Parulskis, Kornelijus Platelis, and Tomas Venclova was heard along with improvisations by Jazz Trio (Vytautas Labutis, Leonidas Šinkarenkas, and Arvydas Joffė). The famous Lithuanian jazz musicians performed a separate concert on 4 September at the Ljubljana jazz club Gajo. Tomas Venclova also participated in a separate discussion on the same day: “The Author between Text and Context”.
Lithuanian literature, which was heretofore little-known in Slovenia, has made great headway into Slovene publishing houses this year. Three books have reached Slovene readers aside from the anthologies mentioned above: Sigitas Parulskis’ novel Three Seconds of Heaven (Trys sekundės dangaus, translated by Klemen Pisk, published by Modrijan), a collection of poetry by Eugenijus Ališanka (translated by Bernarda Pavlovec Žumer, published by Apokalipsa), and Zgodbe iz Litve, an anthology of Lithuanian short prose (compiled and translated by Klemen Pisk, published by Sodobnost). The presentations of Eugenijus Ališanka’s and Sigitas Parulskis’ books took place on 3-4 September in Ljubljana.
The Slovene Writers’ Union has organised the international literary festival Vilenica since 1986. The festival takes place in Lipica, Ljubljana, and other locations in Slovenia. The festival culminates with the presentation of an international literary prize, which takes place in the impressive Karst cave of Vilenica, which gave the name both to the festival and to the prize. Tomas Venclova received this prestigious literary prize in 1990. The prize was awarded this year to the Polish prose writer Andrzej Stasiuk.
Lithuanian programme of the festival was coordinated by Books from Lithuania and supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania, the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania in Slovenia, and Literature Across Frontiers.
FAMOUS LITHUANIAN LITERARY FIGURES, INTELLECTUALS, AND MUSICIANS MEET BOOK LOVERS AT LITERARY FESTIVAL IN LVIV, UKRAINE
A forum for book publishers and international literary festival took place in Lviv on 11-14 September. The forum, which was organised this year for the 15th time, is the most popular event in the Ukrainian book world. Writers, poets, translators, literary critics, publishers, and book lovers from various countries gather annually in this baroque city. This year more than 600 authors and intellectuals from France, Germany, Austria, Georgia, Poland, the UK, Belarus, and other countries participated in the more than 200 events of the forum.
The Lithuanian Embassy in Ukraine along with other partners prepared a special programme to present Lithuanian culture at this unique meeting of book lovers. Marcelijus Martinaitis, author of Kukutis Ballads (Kukučio baladės) read his poetry in Lviv. His poems were translated into Ukrainian by Dmytry Cherednychenko. Dr. Neringa Putinaitė, author of a book that gained fame in Lithuania last year, participated in the discussion “What is Europe? A Political-Geographical Imagination, or More?” Putinaitė spoke with intellectuals and writers from Poland, Georgia, Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine. The Hon. Algirdas Kumža, Lithuanian ambassador to Ukraine, presented his book, The Himalayas: Diary of an Expedition (Himalajai. Vienos ekspedicijos dienoraštis), a chronicle more of spiritual than geographical experiences that was just recently translated into Ukrainian, against a backdrop of his photographs and film about his journey into the mountains. The Lviv Art Museum became a space for Lithuanian illustrated books as the doors were opened for a retrospective show of illustrations from Lithuanian children’s books. More than 50 famous Lithuanian graphics were on display including illustrations by A. Steponavičius, I. Žviliuvienė, M. Vilutis, B. Žilytė, and others. The innovative improvisations of the Linas Trio and Ingrida were also heard as these young Lithuanian jazz musicians presented their unique programme uniting music and text.
Project organisers: The Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania in Ukraine, Books from Lithuania, Vilnius College, The Lithuanian Institute, and the Honorary Consulate of the Republic of Lithuania in Lviv.
Project sponsored by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania.
POEMS BY GINTARAS GRAJAUSKAS HEARD IN HUNGARIAN
Budapest Transfer, an international festival, was held for the third time on 17-21 September at the Petőfi Literature Museum in Budapest. Participating for the first time in the festival was the Lithuanian poet Gintaras Grajauskas.
One of the primary programmes of the festival was the poetry translation project “Poem Smuggler—Poetry Transfer”. Poets invited from Slovakia, Belgium, and Lithuania translated each others’ poems along with Hungarian poets. Grajauskas and his Hungarian partner, András Petőcz, presented the results of their translation process to the public on 19 September in Lotz Hall.
Lithuanian poet’s participation in the festival coordinated by Books from Lithuania and sponsored by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania.
LITHUANIAN LITERATURE AND HISTORICAL EXPERIENCE PRESENTED AT GOTHENBURG BOOK FAIR
The annual Gothenburg International Book Fair took place on 25-28 September at the Swedish Exhibition Centre. The Lithuanian Publishers’ Association and Books from Lithuania presented Lithuanian literature, publishing, book art, and the newest Lithuanian books for the fifth year in a row at this, Scandinavia’s most important literary event.
Latvia was this year’s guest of honour.
The Lithuanian Embassy, Books from Lithuania, and Sweden’s Living History Forum presented the seminar “Tell Your Children” on 25 September. In the seminar, Living History Forum Director Eskil Franck, Latvian journalist Ieva Lešinska, Swedish teacher Anna Nilsson, and Jonas Öhman, a journalist, director, and translator of Lithuanian literature into Swedish, discussed how to tell children and youth about one of the most painful experiences of the twentieth century—the crimes of the Communist regime. Seminar participants also raised a question that has become timely in recent years in Lithuanian, Latvian, and Swedish society—is there “competition” between the damage done by different criminal regimes?
The Lithuanian experience during the Soviet occupation was also presented at the stand of the Swedish Institute for Information on the Crimes of Communism. Three screenings of Lithuanian director Giedrė Beinoriūtė’s film Grandpa and Grandma (Gyveno senelis ir bobutė), which narrates exile to Siberia through a child’s eyes, took place during the fair. The Red Deluge (Raudonasis tvanas), a book by Lithuanian diplomat Ignas Šeinius published again in Sweden this year, was also presented along with other material.
During a seminar titled “How to Write about the Past Today,” held on 27 September, the Lithuanian literary figure Markas Zingeris together with Latvian writer Pauls Bankovskis, Swedish-Latvian writer Charlotte Cerps, Romanian writer and journalist Ioan T. Morar, and cultural journalist Maarja Talgre discussed ways to transmit the experience of the Second World War and the Soviet era while not loosing the connection between collective memory and the present day.
The Lithuanian poets Donatas Petrošius and Arnas Ališauskas presented their work on 25 September at the Young Baltic Poets evening. These poets, along with Zingeris and Öhman, met with pupils and teachers from Gothenburg’s Hvitfeldska secondary school on 26 September.
Presentation of Lithuanian literature at the Gothenburg Book Fair was organised by the Lithuanian Publishers’ Association, Books from Lithuania, and the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania in Stockholm and sponsored by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania.
INTERNATIONAL POETRY TRANSLATION WORKSHOPS IN DRUSKININKAI
Translations of world poetry written in minor languages such as Lithuanian, Hebrew, Romanian, Turkish, etc., are infrequent, as there are either no professional translators or because available translators do not undertake translation of poetry. International poetry translation workshops that took place on 30 September through 5 October in Druskininkai created an opportunity for poets from various countries to help one another solve this problem. The workshops were organised by Books from Lithuania along with Literature Across Frontiers, a Welsh literary organisation, and the Druskininkai Poetic Fall festival. Four Lithuanian and five foreign poets translated one another’s work in the workshops using English as an intermediary language and the method of collective work. Discussions that allowed workshop participants to become better acquainted with one another, each others’ work, and their cultural and linguistic context created an opportunity for new translations of poetry in minor languages to appear. The poets Gokçenur Ç (Turkey), Claudiu Komartin (Romania), Valter Hugo Mãe (Portugal), Tal Nitzan (Israel), and Yasuhiro Yotsumoto (Japan/Germany) participated in the international poetry translation seminars. Four Lithuanian poets participated: Sonata Paliulytė, Vladas Braziūnas, Eugenijus Ališanka, and Vytautas Dekšnys.
The main partner in this project—the Welsh literary organisation Literature Across Frontiers—connects European literature information and publicity centres and initiates joint projects with partners, attracting European Union funds (Books from Lithuania is also a member of this network of literature information centres). The workshops were led by Alexandra Büchler, the organisation’s director.
The workshops were very productive—190 poems were translated from and into Lithuanian, Turkish, Hebrew, Romanian, Portuguese, and Japanese. Translations born during the international poetry workshops were presented to participants and guests on 4 October at Druskininkai Poetic Fall.
Poetry translation workshops were organised by Books from Lithuania, Literature Across Frontiers, and Druskininkai Poetic Fall.
Translation workshops were sponsored by the Culture Support Foundation of the Republic of Lithuania, the Culture programme of the European Union, the Embassy of Israel in Latvia and Lithuania and the Ministry of Culture and Publishing Department of Portugal.
LITHUANIAN LITERATURE TRANSLATORS’ SEMINAR IN NIDA
The seminar for translators of Lithuanian literature that has become an annual tradition was held on 9-12 October at the Thomas Mann Cultural Centre in Nida. Thirty translators of Lithuanian literature from 20 countries participated in the seminar. Reports on the latest Lithuanian prose, poetry, children’s literature, popular literature, humour, and absurdist Lithuanian literature were read during the seminar. Dr Nerija Putinaitė, a philosopher, spoke about developments of Lithuanian identity. Meetings with writers Donaldas Kajokas, Dovilė Zelčiūtė, Laura Sintija Černiauskaitė, and Andrius Jakučiūnas were held in the evenings. The poet and musician Gediminas Kajėnas offered “Songs from a Leaky Boat”, a poetic-musical programme. Translators also had an opportunity to procure the newest books by Lithuanian authors.
This was the fifth seminar for translators of Lithuanian literature organised by Books from Lithuania (the first was held in 1999). The seminars are of great practical value to translators. Translators not only hear about what is new and interesting in the sphere of Lithuanian literature, but also have an invaluable opportunity to discuss questions of interest with specialists. Even more importantly, they speak only Lithuanian for four days while sharing experiences and concerns with one another and describing their most recent work. The activity of translators who participate greatly increases following the seminars and applications for the sample translation and book translation subsidy programmes are submitted as the translators acquire optimism and new energy for their challenging mission.
Seminar organised by Books from Lithuania along with the Thomas Mann Cultural Centre, sponsored by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania.
FRANKFURT INTERNATIONAL BOOK FAIR
A joint stand shared by Books from Lithuania and the Lithuanian Publishers’ Association occupying one square metre at the Frankfurt International Book Fair on 15-19 October presented information about Lithuanian literature and the possibilities for translation. We met with publishers, partners, and colleagues at the fair, and in the course of conversation we relayed news about Lithuanian literature and sought to interest foreign publishers and promote the translation of works by Lithuanian writers. Books from Lithuania director Aušrinė Jonikaitė offered a few words to guests gathered for the opening of the stand on 15 October and for “A Glance at Lithuania”, an event presenting Lithuanian publishing, about the situation of Lithuanian literature translation and the opportunities for translation subsidies.
We also participated in the annual meeting of Literature Across Frontiers, a network of literature information centres of which Books from Lithuania is a member, at the Frankfurt Book Fair.
Partner—Lithuanian Publishers’ Association, Sponsor—The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania.
SIGITAS PARULSKIS PRESENTS THREE SECONDS OF HEAVEN IN POLAND
The writer Sigitas Parulskis was hosted on 21-24 October in Warsaw and Cracow, where he presented his novel Three Seconds of Heaven (Trys sekundės dangaus), which was translated into Polish by Izabela Korybut-Daszkiewicz and published by Czytelnik in June of this year under the title Trzy sekundy nieba. The Czytelnik publishing house was established in 1944 and is one of Poland’s oldest publishers, placing special emphasis on fiction. While in Warsaw, Parulskis became acquainted with the publishing house, met with journalists, and participated in a presentation of his book at the Lithuanian Centre attached to the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania. On 23 October, Parulskis met with journalists from Gazeta Wyborcza and Modny Krokow at Cracow’s established and popular Pod Globusem bookstore and met readers that evening.
Parulskis’ novel Three Seconds of Heaven has now been translated into six languages: Latvian, Italian, Swedish, Albanian, Slovenian, and Polish.
Writer’s visit to Poland was organised by Books from Lithuania, the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania in Poland, and Czytelnik.
Writer’s trip was sponsored by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania.
TWO TRANSLATORS OF LITHUANIAN LITERATURE IN RESIDENCE IN VILNIUS THIS AUTUMN
Beatrix Tölgyesi, a translator of Lithuanian literature into Hungarian, spent the month of September in Vilnius. This young woman and flawless Lithuanian speaker won the Lithuanian literature translator-in-residence competition in June. She traveled to Lithuania to complete a project she had already begun—the translation of Vilnius, Tomas Venclova’s book of essays and memoirs, which the author was commissioned to write by Suhrkamp (translated by Claudia Sinnig, published by Suhrkamp in 2006). The book was originally written in Lithuanian and is therefore being translated into Hungarian from the Lithuanian manuscript.
Európa, which commissioned this translation, is one of Hungary’s largest publishing houses. It has been thriving for more than 60 years and presents readers with about 200 works of world literature each year. Európa published Mondjátok meg Fortinbrasnak (Pasakykite Fortinbrasui), a collection of Venclova’s poetry, in 1992. The poems were translated by Endre Bojtár, a noted Hungarian Baltic specialist and translator of Lithuanian literature, along with famous contemporary Hungarian poets. Later, in 2003, the same publisher released Litvánok és… (Lietuviai ir…), Venclova’s collection of essays about Lithuanian national consciousness, much of which was taken from the collection Forms of Hope (Vilties formos). Tölgyesi’s translation of Vilnius, Venclova’s book of essays, should reach bookstores by the beginning of next year.
Tölgyesi began learning Lithuanian at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, where she studied East Slavic and Baltic—and later Hungarian and Russian—philology. Having received a stipend from the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Lithuania, she spent two semesters in 2004-5 at Vilnius University studying Lithuanian Studies. Tölgyesi actively participates in academic conferences and has translated numerous literary articles, plays, and films. While in Vilnius, she completed her translation of Venclova’s book and also had an opportunity to acquaint herself with the most recent Lithuanian fiction and non-fiction and Lithuanian cultural life and to refresh her knowledge of Lithuanian.
Cornelius Hell, an Austrian literary critic and essayist and translator into German, also spent a month in residence in Vilnius on the same translator-in-residence programme. This highly experienced translator compiled two anthologies while in Vilnius: an anthology of current Lithuanian literature for Die Rampe, a Linz literary journal that is scheduled to publish a Lithuanian-themed issue in March 2009, and the anthology Vilnius erlesen, which is composed of literary texts about Vilnius. The Austrian publishing house Wieser Verlag intends to publish this second book.
Hell is an active participant in Austrian cultural life and is currently coordinating a series of events called “Linz Reads Vilnius” (“Linz liest Vilnius”). The events of this project will take place this year and next in the Austrian city of Linz, which will become a European Capital of Culture along with Vilnius in 2009. The works of Lithuanian writers Tomas Venclova, Sigitas Parulskis, and Giedra Radvilavičiūtė will be presented in Linz.
Hell became interested in Lithuanian literature in 1984, when he came to Vilnius University to teach German language and Austrian literature. Since that time, he has been actively translating works by Lithuanian writers as well as writing articles and hosting radio programmes that present Lithuanian culture and literature. To date he has prepared more than 150 programmes for ORF and Bavarian Radio, no small portion of which has been dedicated to Lithuania. ORF radio expects Hell to prepare another series of programmes about Lithuania in 2009.
Hell received the Austrian State Prize for Scientific Journalism in 1996, and in 2004 the Lithuanian Writers’ Union awarded him the Poetry Spring prize for his translations of Lithuanian poetry into German. Hell received the Cross of the Officer of the Order for Merits to Lithuania that same year.
Books from Lithuania has run the translator-in-residence programme since 2004. Each year, at least two translators have the opportunity to be in residence in Vilnius for one month. Twelve translators have been in residence as part of the programme since 2004.
Books from Lithuania’s translator-in-residence programme is sponsored by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania.
HESSEN WRITER KARINA ODENTHAL HOSTED IN VILNIUS IN OCTOBER
This was the third year that Books from Lithuania coordinated this literary exchange programme, thanks to which Lithuanian authors can realize their creative projects in Wiesbaden, Germany, and German authors come to Lithuania to collect ideas.
This year, the writer Markas Zingeris won the competition to receive a literary stipend from the Land of Hessen in Germany by decision of a commission of experts. This is Zingeris’ second month of living and working in Wiesbaden.
The German writer, dramaturge, and journalist Karina Odenthal left Hessen for Vilnius in October. Odenthal, who calls herself a storyteller, is especially interested in European regions that have retained deep traditions of storytelling. Lithuania is for her an as of yet unfamiliar but interesting country with which she has decided to become more closely acquainted. While in Vilnius, Odenthal met with Lithuanian writers, learned about theatre and contemporary dramaturgy, and participated in a meeting with students of German from Kaunas’ Vytautas Magnus University and Vilnius Pedagogical University. However, the writer devoted most of her time to writing her novel, Merlin’s Feather.
Odenthal studied literature at Heidelberg University and has worked as a dramaturge at theatres in Würzburg, Kaiserslautern, and elsewhere. She was also the editor of the theatre section at S. Fischer Verlag in Frankfurt and has taught creative writing. Odenthal is the author of two books and has written several plays and short stories for various anthologies.
Project partner—Hessischer Literaturrat.
Project sponsored by the Culture Support Foundation of the Republic of Lithuania, the Ministry of Higher Education, Research, and the Arts of the Land Hessen, and the Municipality of Wiesbaden.
POETRY WEB SITE LYRIKLINE.ORG PRESENTS THREE NEW LITHUANIAN POETS
The poetry Web site www.lyrikline.org presented three new Lithuanian poets in October: Birutė Mar, Kęstutis Navakas, and Mindaugas Valiukas. Each one of their poems can be read in the original and in translation on the Web site, but can also be heard in the poets’ own recorded voices.
Books from Lithuania has been an active participant in www.lyrikline.org, an Internet project initiated by the Berlin literary organisation Literaturwerkstatt Berlin, since 2001. The Web site connects the oldest form of literature—poetry—with the newest achievement in communication—the Internet. There are currently 490 poets in 49 languages presented on the site. Translations of poems in 44 languages can be found on the site. The site is visited by 670 poetry enthusiasts daily. Books from Lithuania has presented works by 20 Lithuanian poets over the course of its cooperation with the site.
Project sponsored by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania.
PARTICIPATION IN TWO EUROPEAN PROJECTS NEXT YEAR
Books from Lithuania has been cooperating with Literature Across Frontiers, an organisation that connects European literature information centres, for several years. This year, a project of the organisation envisioning a five-year plan of joint action for network members received support from the European Commission’s Culture Programme until 2013. As network members, we are now assured of a share of European Union financing for international projects for the next five years.
This year, we also won a competition for a programme announced by the agency Vilnius—European Capital of Culture 2009. In 2009, we will organise the Vilnius Literature Academy, an eight-month international programme that includes residences for foreign writers in Vilnius as well as translation workshops for translators. An application for support from the European Union for this project is currently being prepared.
WE ARE PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE NEW TRANSLATIONS OF LITHUANIAN LITERATURE INTO FOREIGN LANGUAGES
Five new books and one magazine devoted to Lithuanian literature whose translation into foreign languages was subsidised by Books from Lithuania have reached our office over the past several months. We are pleased to be able to present these publications to you:
Laura Sintija Černiauskaitė.
Dichanie kam mramora: [novel] /
translated into Bulgarian by Antonia Pencheva.
Sofia: Panorama, 2008.
Original: Kvėpavimas į marmurą
Sigitas Parulskis. Trzy sekundy nieba: [novel] /
translated into Polish by Izabela Korybut-Daszkiewicz.
Warszawa: Czytelnik, 2008. ISBN 978-83-07-03166-8
Original: Trys sekundės dangaus
Barricate quotidiane: [poetry collection] /
compiled and translated into Italian by Pietro U. Dini.
Novi Ligure: Edizioni Joker, 2008.
Six Lithuanian Poets: [anthology of Lithuanian poetry] /
compiled by Eugenijus Ališanka,
translated into English by Eugenijus Ališanka,
Kerry Shawn Keys, Medeinė Tribinevičius,
Laima Vincė and Jonas Zdanys.
Todmorden: Arc Publications, 2008.
The Baltic Quintet:
Poems from Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania
and Sweden: [anthology of poetry] /
compiled by Edita Page,
translated from Lithuanian into English by Edita Page.
Hamilton: Wolsak and Wynn Publishers, 2008.
Plav: z Litvy na Madagaskar: [literary monthly] /
translated into Czech by Jakub Hauser, Alena Vlčkova,
Vera Kocianova, Alena Drizalova, Janina Balsienė,
Ladislava Petiškova, Vitezslav Mikeš,
Michala Peškova ir Eva Seitlova.
Praha, 2008, Nr. 9. ISSN 1802-4734
Prepared by Aušrinė, Inga, and Kotryna
Translated by Steven Paulikas