Inga Gaile (1976) is a poet, writer, playwright and theatre director. She is the author of four poetry collections and a collection of children's poetry. In her poems, she explores the inner states of being, her own experiences, everyday lives of women, as well as stigmatized groups of society. In her stage work and spoken-word performances she focuses on gender and feminist issues, illuminating injustices and promoting equal rights. Knowing this, her first staged work Our Sylvia, who art in Heaven/ Mūsu Silvija debesīs which focuses on the fate of Sylvia Plath, came as no surprise. She uses the genre of confessional poem as a means of self-identification, thus facing and coming to terms with this experience, and thus re-imagining her personality. Her first book of prose was published as part of the series of historical novels titled We. Latvia. The 20th Century. Also she has translated works of Russian speaking poets into Latvian. Her poems have been translated into English, German, Swedish, Lithuanian, and Bengali.
Also Gaile is active in feminist movement in Latvia and founder of stand-up comedy group Sieviešu stendaps/Woman Stand-up Comedy.
Vai otrā grupa mani dzird? [Can the Back Row Hear Me?] - collection of children's poetry. Riga: Liels un mazs, 2014.
Migla [Fog]. Riga: Mansards, 2012.
Kūku Marija [Maria, the Cake Killer]. Riga: Orbita, 2007.
raudāt nedrīkst smieties [Cry Not Laugh]. Riga: Nordik, 2004.
Laiks bija iemīlējies [Time Had Grown Enamoured]. Riga: "Pētergailis", 1999.
Stikli [The Glass Shards]. Riga: Dienas Grāmata, 2016
Trauki [The Dishes]. 2014, staged in collaboration with Marta E. Martinsone at Dirty Deal Teatro, Riga.
Mūsu Silvija debesīs [Our Sylvia, who art in Heaven]. 2013, staged at Ģertrūdes ielas teātris, Riga.
Āda [The Skin]. 2011, published by Mansards, staged by Andrejs Jarovojs at Dirty Deal Teatro, Riga
Books to fall for
Can the Back Row Hear Me?
Can the Back Row Hear Me? (Vai otrā grupa mani dzird?)
Illustrations by Anete Melece
— The Annual Latvian Literature Prize 2015 for Inga Gaile’s poems
— A Special Mention to Anete Melece at the 2015 International Baltic Book Art Contest for her illustrations and book design
— International Baltic Sea Region Jānis Baltvilks Prize in Children’s Literature and Book Art 2015 (the Jury’s Special Mention)
The daily life of a family is like a point of intersection in which the daily events and relationships of children and adults meet up. This book is a similar point of intersection that can be read by adults as well as children of all ages. Alongside her witty illustrations, Anete Melece has created games, exercises and colouring pages.
Contacts: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.lielsmazs.lv
Can the Back Row Hear Me?
Vai otrā grupa mani dzird?
Rīga, Liels un mazs
All languages available
The Glass Shards
The Glass Shards (Stikli)
The Glass Shards takes place on a specific threshold of time, when all the events that could lead to the culmination of a war are already in motion. Through the individual struggles and decisions of its characters, the novel tries to make sense of how what happened in Latvia during World War II came to be. Since the novel came out, it seems clear that it was written with a desperate attempt to understand the mechanics of what lead us, as a society, to war, as well as the individual relationships within a society.
The main character of the novel is Magdalena Cirule—a patient from a psychoneurological hospital who is pregnant with the child of her attending physician. Magdalena is Dr. Karlis Vilks-Krideners’ ideal patient; he came to Latvia from Germany after his grandmother refused to continue financing his psychotherapy research, which was considered rather avant-garde, even by the hospital in Munich where he worked. But Karlis can’t continue practicing in Munich because he believes he could better help patients through treatments that don’t use chemical or mechanical means.
Magdalena suffers from a high level of anxiety, and has a tendency to black out after being touched—either intentionally or unintentionally. But the hospital director, Valdis Gudsbergs, has concerns over whether the hospital has enough room for all its patients, and thinks that Magdalena should have been sent home to her parents ages ago. However, Magdalena’s father is the mayor of Rezekne, and her parents worry that their daughter’s presence at home will negatively impact their public image. It is for this reason they are willing to pay for Magdalena’s “luxury suite” at the Strenci Psychoneurological Hospital, an institution where the middle-class patients frequently end up sleeping in the corridors.
Contacts: email@example.com www.dgramata.lv
The Glass Shards
Interview with Inga Gaile // Internet magazine Satori.lv [LV]
Ieva Melgalve, Pareizības griezīgās lauskas, review of The Glass Shards // Internet magazine Punctum [LV]
Zita Kārkla, Nemīlestība ļoti sāp, review of The Glass Shards // UbiSunt, University of Latvia [LV]
Inga Žolude, Vai sabiedrība mani dzird?, review of Can the Back Row Hear Me? // Internet magazine Satori.lv [LV]
Ligita Levinska, Bērnība Rīgā, review of Can the Back Row Hear Me? // UbiSunt, University of Latvia [LV]
Anna Auziņa, Iznākšana no miglas, review of Fog // Internet magazine Satori.lv [LV]
Arvis Viguls, Vienkārši Marija, review of Maria, the Cake Killer // Internet magazine Satori.lv [LV]
2015, Latvian Literature Award for Can the Back Row Hear Me?
2012, Prose Readings Award for the short story Piena ceļi/ Milky Ways
2012, Latvju Teksti Magazine Award for Fog
2012, Ojārs Vācietis Award for Fog
2007, Poetry Days Award for Cake Mary
2004, Ojārs Vācietis Award for Cry Not Laugh
2004, Anna Dagda Foundation Award for Cry Not Laugh
1999, Klāvs Elsbergs Award for Time Had Grown Enamoured
30 Questions People Don't Ask: The Selected Poems of Inga Gaile
30 Questions People Don't Ask: The Selected Poems of Inga Gaile (Dzejoļu krājums)
Title: 30 Questions People Don't Ask: The Selected Poems of Inga Gaile
Title*: Dzejoļu krājums
Pleiades Press, USA
Selection of poems by Inga Gaile, translated into English by Ieva Lešinska.
Loomingu Raamatukogu, Estonia
The author; the publisher;
The novel's events evolve during the late 1930s at the time of president Kārlis Ulmanis' authoritarian regime, when such concepts as "reduced value individuals" were disseminated "for their own good and benefit of our future".