Year

2014

XXV Druskininkai Poetic Fall, echoes of 2014
theme: Canonical Forms: Relics or Foundations?

XXV Druskininkai Poetic Fall took place October 1–6, 2014. More than 120 poets, literary critics and publishers participated, from Lithuania and abroad.

The festival opened according to tradition with an evening reading at the book store Mint Vinetu. The anthology was presented by its editors Marius Burokas and Vytas Dekšnys, who invited poets from the anthology to read their work, including the guests Laura Wihlborg (Sweden), Keijiro Suga (Japan), Donna Stonecipher (USA).

The poets published in the anthology were the main readers of the festival: Ramunė Brundzaitė (Lithuania, tr., Rimas Užgiris); Aidan Coleman (Australia, tr., Lidija Šimkutė); Erika Drungytė (Lithuania; tr., Rimas Užgiris); Antanas Gailius (Lithuania; tr., Ada Valaitis); Haïlji (South Korea; tr., Dominykas Norkūnas); Koichi Yakushigawa (Japan; tr., Vytautas Dumčius); Benediktas Januševičius (Lithuania; tr., Rimas Užgiris); Suzana Lovrič (Bosnija and Hercegovina; tr., Laima Masytė); Piotr Mitzner (Poland; tr., Vytas Dekšnys); Alfredo Costa Monteiro (Portugal, Spain; tr., Arvydas Makštutis); Artis Ostups (Latvia; tr., Erika Drungytė); Claudio Pozzani (Italy; tr., Ramunė Brundzaitė); Jürgen Rooste (Estonia; tr., Reiu Tüür and Marius Burokas); Vytautas Rubavičius (Lithuania; tr., Medeinė Tribinevičius); Ludwig Steinherr (Germany; tr., Gytis Norvilas); Donna Stonecipher (USA; tr., Laurynas Katkus); Keijiro Suga (Japan; tr., Eglė Kiriliauskaitė); George Szirtes (United Kingdom; tr., Sonata Paliulytė); Lidija Šimkutė (Lithuania, Australija; tr., Lidija Šimkutė); Veno Taufer (Slovenia; tr., Laima Masytė); Laura Wihlborg (Sweden; tr., Zita Mažeikaitė).

All of the festival’s events occurred as planned. In Druskininkai there were two readings by poets from the anthology, and additional readings by Lithuanian poets, young poets and festival participants. In Vilnius, there were three readings: the anthology presentation, the closing reading , and the post-festival reading at Užupis Cafe. On Friday, there was a conference on the theme of „Canonical Forms: Relics or Foundations?“. Speakers included Kornelijus Platelis, Regimantas Tamošaitis, Laima Kreivytė, Vytautas Gailius and the guests from abroad.

According to tradition, there were alternative festival events as well. The gallery Sofa opened a show of photography by Regimantas Tamošaitis, and the cafe Boulangerie opened their display of caricatures by Kęstutis Šiaulytis. During the event, Kęstutis drew friendly caricatures of participants which were then hung for display in the Aušrinės Hall.

The main Friday reading was moderated by Aušra Kaziliūnaitė and Nerijus Cibulskas, while the young poet’s reading was moderated by Aivaras Veiknys. Nine poets took part in the latter, and their work was judged on Saturday. Also on Saturday, three classical Lithuanian poets, Kornelijus Platelis, Vladas Braziūnas and Antanas A. Jonynas, were invited to discuss the theme of „Maneuvers of Classical Form“.

Saturday was packed with events. Various Lithuanian poets gave a reading in the Dainava Hotel yard, moderated by Antanas Šimkus. Further events in the yard included the creation of a communal painting and a communal poem by the poets. In the afternoon, another reading of Lithuanian poets took place in Bubilas Hall. This was moderated by Erika Drungytė and Ričardas Šileika. There was, as there is every year, a small book fair in which a selection of poetry books published in the last year was presented, including the festival anthology. Valentinas Sventickas led the presentation. On Saturday evening, the festival concluded its Druskininkai events with
a reading by anthology poets, moderated by Vytautas Stankus and Neringa Butnoriūtė. Then it was time to give out prizes. Gintaras Bleizgys’ Kai sėlinsi manęs (When You Sneak Up On Me) won the Yotvingian Prize for best poetry collection of 2014, while Aivaras Veiknys took the Young Yotvingian Prize for his poetry collection Paukštuko liudijimai (Testimonies of a Little Bird). Antanas A. Jonynas gave the prize for the young poet’s reading to Ieva Gudmonaitė. Next came the prizes for the anonymous poetry contests that included three themes: any single poem, a short poem in canonical form, and a humoristic poem on the theme of „I wrote some contents out of hopelessness / in form and out of form“. On Sunday, the festival returned to Vilnius where the guests and the prize winners read their poems in the reading room of the Contemporary Art Center. Indrė Valantinaitė and Kornelijus Platelis moderated the event, which included music by Vytautas Labutis, Eugenijus Kanevičius and Arkadijus Gotesmanas.

The traditional post-festival reading on Monday evening was at Užupis Cafe, showcasing the poetry groups „Ribos“ (Boundary) and „Įžanga“ (Prelude). The reading was moderated by Antanas Šimkus, and included the poets Dainius Gintalas and Rimvydas Stankevičius.

translated by Rimas Užgiris

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