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Liana Langa | Latvia

Liana Langa (real name Liāna Bokša, b. 1960 in Riga), poet, studied in Biruta Delles’ painting studio and at the Faculty of Philology at the  Latvian State University (1979-81). She’s been publishing her work since 1988. In 1991 she went to the USA where she studied philosophy and 20th-century literature at New School College. She worked as a Russian and English translator. She was a consultant for the project Literature Express / Europe 2000. Her poetry can be described as intellectual. It objects to post-war Latvian poetry through resignation from naivety and images of idealised humanity. It’s devoid of pathos. Langa’s poetry skilfully balances grotesque, ugly, and even disharmonic elements with detached but tangible love and honesty devoid of sentimental neurasthenia. Her poetry is rooted in the observation of everyday situations, but she also creates it via meditational observations. She’s the author of four volumes of poetry. In 2010 she published the collection  “Vilkogas” featuring poems written between 2006-2010. In the same year, she also published the audiobook “Es pēkšņi atmodosno dziļa miega/ klausāmgrāmata” where the poet reads her poems from the collections  “Iepūt taurītē, Skorpion!” (2001), “Antenu burtnīca” (2006) and “Vilkogas”(2010).  Langa has written the libretto to Arturs Maskats’ opera “Valentina” that focuses on Holocaust events in Latvia. She’s the creator and screenplay writer for the documentaries  “Tramvajs vārdā Kalpotājs” (2004) and “Homo Ludens”(2015), the author of songs for the musical “Raimondsa Paulsa Leo”, “Pēdējābohema” (2010). Along with Knut Skujenieks and Edvīn Raupsemjest she co-founded The National Writers’ Fund (Nacionālās Rakstniecības atbalsta fonds). She is actively involved in improving national culture policies and serves as a spokesperson on civic issues on top of her work as a publicist. Langa is the recipient of the Latvian Poetry Day Award (1998 and 2006) and the Annual Award in Literature in 2001 and 2011.  Her poetry  has been translated into English, German, French, Swedish, Turkish, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Lithuanian, Russian, and other languages.

a stylised, black and white portrait of the poet