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Kārlis Vērdiņš | Latvia

(b. 1979 in Riga ) – poet, critic, translator, and author of academic papers and monographs. He completed his studies in culture theory at Latvian Academy of Culture. In 2009, he obtained his PhD in literature at the University of Latvia. Since 2007,  he has been working at the Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art of the University of Latvia. He’s also a member of the editorial team at the literary magazine “Latvju Teksti”. He has translated works by T.S.Eliot, William Carlos Williams and many contemporary American poets. He’s been publishing his works since 1997 and is considered one of the most mature and outstanding representatives of the youngest generation of poets. His own poems have been included in various collections in English and have been translated into Lithuanian, Swedish, Czech, Polish, Slovenian, Basque and others. In 2014 one of his poems – Come to Me – was named by London Southbank Centre’s experts one of 50 greatest contemporary love poems of our times. Kārlis Vērdiņš’ poetry is delicate, lively and intimate; it often discloses uncomfortable truths in a witty, penetrating way. His  themes include love, sex, coming to terms with oneself that he discusses with great compassion, wit and irony. His works have been translated into several languages and included in the anthology of young poets from Central and East Europe A FineLine (Arc Publications, 2004).  In 2001, he received the Diena Culture Award, in 2006, the Copyright Infinity Award and, in 2007, the Olivereto Prize, awarded for his poem Soldiers. Vērdiņš won the Poetry Prize in 2008 for the book of poems “Es” and in 2015 for” Pieaugušie”. In 2017, he was awarded the Janis Baltvilks International Baltic Assembly Prize for the collection of children’s poetry “Tetis”.

a stylised, black and white portrait of the writer