The 10th DPF 1999 took place on October 8 – 10, 1999. About 120 participants came from different countries: Craig Czury, James Hoch, Kerry Shawn Keys, and Sam Witt (USA); Knut Ødegård and Jostein Saeboe (Norway); Mikkel Thykier and Marius Nodrup-Nielsen (Denmark); Janis Ramba, Jolanda Silanže, Ieva Melgalve, and Maris Salajs (Latvia); Zbigniew Dominiak, Jagoda Rogorza, and Leszek Engelking (Poland); Elisabeth Rynell and Gunilla Forsen (Sweden); Gerardo Beltrán (Mexico); Jurij Jefremov (Russia); Riccardo Duranti (Italy); Darius Victor Snieckus (England); Lithuanian poets living abroad – Sigitas Birgelis from Poland, Kornelijus Jazbutis, Eglė Juodvalkė, and Jonas Zdanys from USA. The rest were Lithuanian poets, literary critics and publishers.

The festival began with the raising of the DPF flag; a salute by re-enlistee in the DPF army Ričardas Šileika, who was dressed in a military uniform of uncertain affiliation; and words ofwelcome in the auditorium from Druskininkai mayor Algimantas Maknys, the new Chairman of Lithuanian PEN Almantas Samalavičius, and Dainava Centre Director Zenonas Streikus. Discussion of the subject "Poetic Text: Mask and Role" began immediately afterwards. It was led by Bronys Savukynas and Marijus Šidlauskas; discussion participants included Vytautas P. Bložė, Gražina Cieškaitė, Evaldas Čiuldė, Erika Drungytė, Sigitas Geda, Kornelijus Platelis, and Almantas Samalavičius.

The first evening poetry readings were moderated by Birutė Marcinkevičiūtė and Mindaugas Kvietkauskas; reading poets were: Gerardo Beltran, Eugenijus Ališanka, Sam Witt, Mikkel Thykier, Patricija Šmitaitė, Sigitas Birgelis, Elisabeth Rynell, Jolanda Silanže, Riccardo Duranti, Danguolė Juzeliūnaitė, Maris Salajs, and Donaldas Kajokas.The night readings were turbulent, as always. They were led by Benediktas Januševičius. About twenty poets, not only Lithuanians, were reading their poetry. Their work was evaluated by the jury (Bronys Savukynas, Gražina Ramoškaitė, Janina Riškutė, Almantas Samalavičius, Valentinas Sventickas, Marijus Šidlauskas) which awarded prizes to Laurynas Katkus, Tomas S. Butkus, Erika Drungytė, and Vita Tunaitytė. Saturday morning was devoted to the ,,Renga" session – a collective act of creation with participation of seventeen poets from Lithuania and abroad. The writing went according to Japanese tradition, although the syllabic count within lines was not firmly sustained. The fruit of creation was read by the poets during the formal closing evening.

Books of poetry published by Lithuanian publishers during the year were presented at the traditional book hour, first among them the anthology of Druskininkai Poetic Fall, 1990-1999 (Vaga, 1999) compiled and edited by Laurynas Katkus, Gintaras Bleizgys, and Ričardas Šileika. It is quite informative edition nicely reflecting the history and the spirit of the first nine Falls. Another engaging work – the prestigious Spanish literary journal Revistatlantica with a substantial sheaf of works by Lithuanian poets translated by Gerardo Beltrán. The largest number of poetry books during the year was published by Vaga Publishers, which surpassed the Lithuanian Writers' Union Publishing House.

The theatrical art was part of this Fall because its theme was linked to masks and roles. Saturday's 16:30 event was called "Poetic Performance" and made of two parts. In the first, led by Ričardas Šileika, several actor-poets were reading, dancing or expressing themselves in other ways: Daiva Čepkauskaitė, Birutė Marcinkevičiūtė, Alvydas Šlepikas, Erika Drungytė, Craig Czury (he also presented his poetry fusion, created in a seminar with Druskininkai students), and Marius Nodrup-Nielsen. In the second part the Gliukų Theatre of Klaipeda (Benas Šarka, Rita Rimkutė) performed ,,Keafri,'' which was based on a text by Gintaras Grajauskas. The formal final evening of poetry was moderated by Sigitas Geda and Liudvikas Jakimavičius. First, The Jotvingiai Prize was awarded to poetess Nijolė Miliauskaitė for her collection Labyrinth of the Soul (Vaga, 1999). The DPF prize for the best poetic debut was awarded to Gintaras Bleizgys for his collection Locality. North. (Vaga, 1998). Following those presentations, the jury announced the long-awaited results of the Fall's competitions. The panel decided to award five prizes in the One Anonymous Poem competition, because this year the translators of our guests' poetry were also encouraged to submit their translations. The following prizes were awarded: 1. Kornelijus Platelis for "St. Elizabeth's Hospital"; 2.

Kerry Shawn Keys (translated by V.P. Bložė) for "Chandelier"; 3. Rimvydas Stankevičius for "About Sight"; 4. Alvydas Valenta for "Journey"; and 5. Liudvikas Jakimavičius for "The Small Black Lizard on the Hot Rocks of the Shore". For the competition ofsigned poems best expressing the linkage of fall and poetry, the following prizes were awarded: 1. Leszek Engelking for "Three Stylistic Exercises on the Theme of Autumn" (translated by K. Platelis); 2. Kerry Shawn Keys for "Along the Shore" (translated by V.P. Bložė); and 3. Gintaras Grajauskas for "DPF Blues".

On the occasion of the tenth DPF, it was decided to select the ten best books of poetry published during the decade. Most of the festival's participants voted. Liutaras Degėsys, whochaired the election commission, announced the results: (1) Donaldas Kajokas Meditations; (2) Sigitas Parulskis The Dead's; (3) Vytautas p. Bložė Autumn; (4) Kornelijus Platelis Orations to the River; (5) Sigitas Geda Restoration of Babylon; (6) Nijolė Miliauskaitė A Room Forbidden to Enter; (7) Sigitas Geda A Chest to

Capture Spirits; (8) Antanas A. Jonynas Night Train; (9) Antanas A. Jonynas Cataract Beneath the Ice; (10) Aidas Marčėnas and Sigitas Parulskis "50+50".

The following poets read from their works during the final formal evening of poetry: Jonas Zdanys, Knut Ødegård, James Hoch, Janis Ramba, Darius Victor Snieckus, Ieva Melgalve, Gintaras Grajauskas, and Ričardas Šileika. At the end of the evening, the Renga session work was presented.

The night readings in the Dainava restaurant as always were professionally led by Alvydas Šlepikas. The readings began with an impressive poetic polylogue by four men wearing masks. They turned out to be Gerardo Beltrán, Sigitas Geda, Kerry Shawn Keys, and Mindaugas Kvietkauskas. A competition for the most sincere poem, "Be Off, Masks and Roles" also took place. First place was taken by Jurgis Kunčinas, and prizes were awarded to Liudvikas Jakimavičius and Kornelijus Jazbutis. The jury's attention was not won over by Minister of Culture Arūnas Bėkšta who read a poem by K. Platelis nor by Tomas S. Butkus who read his poem from under a pot, nor by other pretenders to become laureates. Outbreaks of sincerity were ever more muilled by the blues and by dancing. The evening ended the next morning.

The trip back to Vilnius began at about midday on Sunday. On the way, the bus turned into Grutas Park of Soviet Monuments whose idols appear to have impressed some poets. It seems that idolatry still exist among us.

Monday evening, for the second time, the DPF concluded at the Užupis Café in Vilnius. Those readings were enjoyed as much by our guests from abroad as by our poets. Readers were: E. Ališanka, C. Czury, L. Degėsys, R. Duranti, L. Jakimavičius, B. Januševičius, A.A. Jonynas, L. Katkus, K.S. Keys. M. Kvietkauskas, B. Marcinkevičiūtė, K. Ødegård, K. Platelis, A. Šlepikas, A. Valionis, S. Witt, and J. Zdanys. The poetic merry-making ended with arm-wrestling in which, as in the writing of poetry, as many women as men participated.

Among the Lithuanians, Liudvikas Jakimavičius made the best showing, successfully challenging Craig Czury, but neither one won.

Kornelijus Platelis
Translated by Jonas Zdanys

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