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Jānis Rokpelnis | Latvia

(b. 1945 in Riga ) –  poet, essayist born in Riga in the family of the writer Fricis Rokpelnis. He studied psychology and philosophy at Leningrad State University (1963-1969), graduated with a diploma in philosophy from the History and Philosophy Department at Latvian State University. He teaches philosophy and theology.  Rokpelnis is an honorary member of Latvian Academy of Sciences. He worked at the National Museum of Art, riga Film Company, in the editorial office of the culture weekly “Literatura un Māksla”, the journal “Labrit” and the literary magazine “Karogs”.  For several years, he worked as poetry consultant in the Latvian Writers’ Association and ran poetry workshops in 2004. He edited many volumes of peotry and prose by younger writers. He published six collections of poetry: “Zvaigzne, putna ēna un citi” (1975), “Rīgas iedzimtais” (1981), “Vilciens no pilsētas R.” (1986), “Līme” (1991), “Lirika” (1999), “Vārti” (2004) and two collections of essays  “Rīgas iedzimtie” (1997),”…jeb Dievs nav mazais bērns” (2003). He’s the author of many screenplays for puppet films, such as  “Umurkumurs” (1976), “Vanadziņš” (1978), libretto for the musical Meistars Aleksandrs (2002), and the biographical novel “Modus”. As an expert on Russian poetry he translated the works of Aleksander Blok, Joseph Brodsky, Marina Tsvetaeva, and others. He has received the most prestigious literary prize in the Baltic Countries – The Baltic Assembly Prize (2000) as well as many national awards, including Ojars Vacietis Literary Prize for “Rīgas iestaigāšana” (2013) and the collection of poetry “Post factum” (2016) and the “Latvju Teksti” magazine award for the collection of poems entitled “Nosaukums”.

A stylised, black and white portrait of the Latvian poet