During the Soviet years, a literary career could put one’s life in danger and so poetry flourished, for it allowed authors to express views in the form of allegories, metaphors and symbols. Poets were treated as rock stars, and their contribution strengthened the idea of an independent nation.
Poetry remains a hugely popular genre in all three countries and to mark the centenary Parthian are publishing an anthology called New Baltic Poetry, introducing the exciting chance to discover their epic past and vibrant, inventive present through the strong voice of modern literature.
Some of the great literary names featured in the anthology include:
Inese Zandere (1958) is a poet, editor, publisher and has written more than 20 award-winning books for children including her conceptual book of poems for children Medicine Maddy, Other Hospital Nursery Rhymes and One House for All (Book Island, Oct 2017, translated by Juris Petraskevics). Her work has been translated into many languages and inspired the creation of several animations, theatre plays and operas for children.
Aušra Kaziliūnaitė is a poet, doctoral student of philosophy, a film and culture critic and a human rights activist who has so far published four books of poetry: The First Lithuanian Book (2007), 20% Concentration Camp (2009), The Moon Is a Pill (2014) and I Am Crumbled Walls (2016). She has received numerous national awards, including the Jurga Ivanauskaitė Prize and the Young Artist Prize of the Ministry of Culture. Her poetry will be published in the Anthology of New Baltic Poetry (Parthian, 2018). The first English translation of her poetry, The Moon is a Pill translated by Rimis Uzgiris, is published by Parthian in 2018.
Kai Aareleid (1972) is a prose writer, poet, and literary translator, specialising in writing about history from the perspective of individuals. She translates literature from Spanish, Portuguese, French, Finnish and English, has translated works by Bruce Chatwin, Javier Marías, Paulo Coelho and Roberto Bolaño, and has published two collections of poetry and two novels. Her latest novel, Burning Cities (Peter Owen, May 2018, translated by Adam Cullen) tells the story of a family living in the battle-scarred southern Estonian city of Tartu shortly after World War II. Aareleid will be attending Edinburgh International Book Festival in August 2018.
New Baltic Poetry is a collection celebrating the diversity of writing from the three Baltic countries; Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. Six of the most talented poets from each country are translated and published in English, in many cases for the first time, providing a taste of the fresh, dynamic literary scene in the contemporary Baltic states.
This collection includes poetry by Benediktas Janusevicius, Antanas A. Jonynas, Giedre Kazlauskaite, Indrek Hirv, Helena Laks, Mats Traat, Kai Aareleid, and others.