Latvian poets to perform at the Hay Festival, UK


2017, May 29

Latvian poets to perform at the Hay Festival, UK

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30 May – 2 June, poets Inga Gaile and Valts Ernštreits will be performing in Birmingham and Liverpool, and at the Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts in Wales, UK.

Both Latvian poets will be reading their poetry in England and Wales alongside British poets Ryan Van Winkle, Alys Conran and Rhys Trimble. The poets first met at the poetry translation workshop held last September in Riga. During the five days of the workshop, the poets translated each other’s works and had a unique opportunity to discuss their texts while translating. The poets will be performing this set of recently polished poems on their short tour around the UK.

The idea to continue collaboration between the poets was suggested by the organizer of the translation workshop, "Latvian Literature" project manager Inga Bodnarjuka – Mrazauskas. “They got along so well that I was certain – there must be a follow-up! It is important to be thinking about strengthening long-term international literary friendships,” Bodnarjuka-Mrazauskas explained. The event was made possible with the support from the international organization “Literature Across Frontiers”, Embassy of Latvia in the UK, the International Writers’ and Translators’ House, as well as the organization “Latvija 100”.

On 30 May, the poets will be attending the Hay Festival and performing poetry in Latvian, English and Welsh. Hay Festival is a ten-day festival of literature and the arts in Wales, once called by former US President Bill Clinton „the Woodstock of the mind.” On 1 June, the poets will be reading in Birmingham, and on 2 June – in Liverpool.

Inga Gaile is a poet, writer, playwright, director and stand-up comic. She is the author of five collections of poetry, one work of prose and three plays. In 2015, Gaile received the Annual Latvian Literature Award as Best Original Work for Children for her collection “Vai otrā grupa mani dzird?” (Can The Back Row Hear Me).

Valts Ernštreits is a poet, translator, artist, entrepreneur and researcher at the University of Tartu. He is the author of three books of poetry. Ernštreits’ collection “Inter/rational” (2003) earned him the Klāvs Elsbergs Prize for best debut in Latvian literature.

Rhys Trimble is a poet, editor and artist based in Wales. He is mainly interested in multilingual and processional poetics, and Welsh metrics. Rhys edits the ctrl+atl+del” e-zine, is the author of 12 collections of poetry and creator of website.

Alys Conran is a writer and translator from Wales. She writes poetry and short stories. Her first novel "Pigeon" was published this year as a bilingual book in English and Welsh by Parthian Books. Her works have been nominated for Bristol, Manchester and Bath short story awards, as well as the international Lorca prize for translation. Alys has worked on promoting access to creative writing and reading projects, and currently teaches creative writing at Bangor University. Her works have been published in Stand, The Manchester Review and New Welsh Review, and anthologies by The Bristol Review of Books, Parthian, The Camden Trust and Honno. Alys has lived in Edinburgh and Barcelona, speaks Welsh, English, Spanish and Catalan.

Ryan van Winkle is a poet, performance artist and critic from Edinburgh. Last year, his second book of poetry The Good Dark received the Saltire Society award as book of the year. His poems have been published in New Writing Scotland, The Prairie Schooner and The American Poetry Review. Ryan has organized festivals and translation workshops in Syria, Pakistan, and Iraq. More about the author:

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