24th Druskininkai Poetic Fall 2013

Theme “Political Correctness and Poetry”

The 24th “Druskininkai Poetic Fall” festival took place October 2–7, 2013. More than 120 poets, literary critics, and publishers from Lithuania and abroad attended the festival.

Druskininkai Poetic Fall opened with an evening of readings at the Mint Vinetu bookstore on Wednesday. The following international guests read their work: Mizuki Misumi (Japan), Kim Kyung-ju (South Korea), Lamont B. Steptoe (United States of America).

The principal poetry reading participants, whose work is published in the Druskininkai Poetic Fall Almanac, were: Valery Afanassiev (France; translated by Edgaras Platelis); Eda Ahi (Estonia; translated by Reiu Tüür and Marius Burokas); Ingmãra Balode (Latvia; translated by Erika Drungytė); Gintautas Dabrišius (Lithuania; translated by Medeinė Tribinevičius); Nijolė Daujotytė (Lithuania; translated by Ada Valaitis); Ruth Fainlight (United Kingdom; translated by Marius Burokas); Jelena Fanailova (Russia; translated by Benediktas Januševičius); Martin Glaz Serup (Denmark; translated by Giedrius Tamaševičius); Jonas Kalinauskas (Lithuania; translated by Rimas Užgiris); Kim Kyung-ju (South Korea; translated by Martynas Šiaučiūnas); Mizuki Misumi (Japan; translated by Vytautas Dumčius); Jesús Munnáriz (Spain; translated by Arvydas Makštutis); Mindaugas Nastaravičius (Lithuania; translated by Rimas Užgiris); Ana Pepelnik (Slovenia; translated by Laima Masytė); Lamont B. Steptoe (United States of America; translated by Sonata Paliulytė); Indrė Valantinaitė (Lithuania; translated by Ada Valaitis); Adam Wiedeman (Poland; translated by Vytautas Dekšnys).

The festival program was full of events: 2 readings by poets featured in the Almanac, readings by festival participants, Lithuanian poets, and beginner poets, in Druskininkai, and 3 readings in Vilnius; a conference entitled “Political correctness and poetry;” alternative events – exhibitions, the performance of a play “The Fire of Vilnius” and an auction. The opening of the festival was signaled by the playing of the Druskininkai Poetic Fall hymn at the city’s central fountain. The theme of the 2013 festival was – Political correctness and poetry. The discussion on the conference’s theme was led by Laimantas Jonušys, with presentations given by Laima Kreivytė and Arūnas Spraunius. The audience also actively participated in the discussion. Later, participants attended the exhibition of photographs by Aleksandras Ostašenkovas, entitled “Conditions”

The evening readings were hosted by Donatas Petrošius and Daiva Čepauskaitė. Friday closed with the traditional young poets’ reading, during which 10 young poets read their work. This event was hosted by Nerijus Cibulskas and Ernestas Noreika, and the work of these young poets was discussed the next day.

On Saturday morning, Artūras Valionis’s photo exhibition was presented at the Boulangerie café. Later, the SOFA Gallery hosted an art happening by Marius Abromavičius. Readings by Lithuanian poets began in the courtyard at Dainava and moved to Bubilas Hall in the afternoon, and were hosted by Erika Drungytė and Ričardas Šileika. Between the morning and afternoon readings, the festival’s participants performed the play “The Great Fire of Vilnius / Wielki Pożar Wileński. How it all happened...“ which was written by Artūras Valionis and directed by Alvydas Šlepikas.

Just as every year, there was the presentation of the Druskininai Poetic Fall Anthology and the books published in the previous year, together with a small book fair. The presentation was led by Valentinas Sventickas.

Poetry readings and the Festival’s closing ceremony took place Saturday evening, hosted by Mindaugas Nastaravičius and Rūta Elijošaitytė, Director of the Druskininai Poetic Fall Festival. During the ceremony, poet Jonas Kalinauskas was awarded the Yotvingian prize for his 2013 poetry collection, “The thief of my garden”, and the poet Ramunė Brundzaitė was awarded the Young Yotvingian prize for her poetry collection, “Butterfly, my friend”.

The Yotvingian prize for lifetime achievement was awarded posthumously to poet Stasys Stacevičius, who passed away last year. After the awards ceremony, the anonymous poem competition took place, followed by an auction. The best showcase during the young poet’s reading was also acknowledged during the festival – Mantas Balakauskas was awarded the Antanas A. Jonynas prize. Tomas Petrulis and Mindaugas Kirka were also acknowledged for their poetic works and were presented with books from the Vario Burnos publishing house.

On Sunday, the Festival moved to Vilnius where all of the winners and guests participated in readings at the Contemporary Art Centre Library. The readings were led by Ramunė Brundzaitė and Eugenijus Ališanka, and the Vytis Nivinskas jazz trio performed.

On Monday, the post-Festival readings, which focused on the poetry group, “Strangers,” took place at Užupis café, and were led by Alvydas Šlepikas.

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