/ 18 May 2015

Important Spring for Lithuanian Literature

This spring delighted with translations of Lithuanian writers into foreign languages. Two publications in particular contributed greatly to disseminating Lithuanian literature abroad.

In April, the presentation of an anthology of contemporary Lithuanian poetry How the Earth Carries Us. New Poets from Lithuania, took place in the United States. The anthology was compiled by the poet and translator Marius Burokas and the translator Rimas Uzgiris, and was published at the initiative of the Lithuanian Institute of Culture. This anthology aims at presenting contemporary Lithuanian literature to foreign publishers, encouraging them to print the creative works of Lithuanian poets. The book contains the creative works of 26 young Lithuanian poets and gives a brief presentation of each poet. Four of these poets participate in the Versopolis project – Marius Burokas, Gytis Norvilas, Giedrė Kaziliūnaitė and Vytautas Stankus.

The translator Rimas Uzgiris and three of the poets – Marius Burokas, Giedrė Kazlauskaitė and Ilzė Butkutė – also participated and presented the anthology at the biggest book fair and conference organised by the Association of Writers & Writing Programs in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This event attracts more than twelve thousand writers, teachers, students, editors, cultural operators, contemporary literature experts and publishers.

The anthology was also introduced in the US Library of Congress in Washington and at the Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture in Chicago.

The second important publication this spring was the special issue of Inostrannaja literatura magazine about Lithuania and Lithuanian literature, titled Lithuania: Scattered And Collected, chief editor, Aleksandras Livergantas. A presentation of the publication has already taken place in Moscow – at the home of Jurgis Baltrušaitis and at the Moscow high school named after him. Last week the publication was also presented in Lithuania. The magazine presentation in Vilnius was attended by its editor Aleksandras Livergantas, editor and translator of the Lithuanian issue Tamara Kazavčinskaja, magazine writers Jūratė Sprindytė, Marius Ivaškevičius, Danutė Kalinauskaitė, Giedra Radvilavičiūtė, Antanas A. Jonynas, Undinė Radzevičiūtė, Gytis Norvilas, etc., translators Aleksandra Vasilkova, Anna Gluchova, Tatjana Maceinienė, Tomas Čepaitis, Jurgis Jefremovas etc., compilers Marija Čepaitytė and Rūta Mėlinskaitė.

The Lithuanian issue of Inostrannaja Literatura is also an important event for the magazine celebrating its 60th anniversary this year – Lithuania became the first country of the former Soviet Union whose literature got onto the pages of the legendary magazine, finally landing on the shelf of foreign literature for Russian-speaking readers.

Preparation of the Lithuanian issue of Inostrannaja Literatura, translation and editing work was curated and promoted by the Lithuanian Institute of Culture. The magazine publishers have said they have already had plenty of positive feedback from their Russian readers.