Jaunā Gaita Nr. 257. jūnijs 2009

< JG 256   JG 258 >

JG 257


  • Baiba Bičole cultivated her distinctive voice in the so-called “Hell’s Kitchen” school of Latvian poetry − as much in tune with the naturalistic heritage of the Old Country as with the avant-garde of the New World. Here she brings us four new poems, characteristically brimming with visionary imagery, yet tightly bound to physical reality. She recounts, in one of her poems, momentarily losing track of a friend on a tour of the MoMA, then spotting his grey-clad figure in Henri Matisse’s painting Dance, happily laughing, blue eyes flashing, whirling and floating in the ring of naked pink women against an azure sky...

  • In December 2008 poet Knuts Skujenieks received an award from the Baltic Assembly for the publication of his eight-volume collected works Raksti. Skujenieks’ article deals with his arrest for anti-Soviet activities in 1962 and seven subsequent years in the Siberian Gulag and concludes, sadly, that his lifelong fight for the integrity of the written word has been fought against windmills: Opportunism and conformity are rife today even without totalitarianism.

  • London-born playwright, novelist, poet, translator and scholar, Juris Rozītis, has lived in Australia and currently resides in Sweden. In “Dish Rag”, a short fragment of a larger work in progress, he tells of a Latvian boy in Tasmania wanting to purchase a dish towel as a gift for his mother and failing to come up with quite the right word for it.

  • In a 2003 essay Inta Ezergaile (1932-2005) spotlights three important Latvian women poets in exile, Velta Toma, Astrīde Ivaska and Rita Gāle.

  • Poet Ingmāra Balode eloquently passes judgment on poet Eduards Aivars’ latest effort, Sarah’s Love: Aivars tries to depict the bare essentials, but so bare, that its genre is erotica.

  • Juris Šlesers takes a long hard look at the third volume of Jānis Krēsliņš’, Sr., collected works, and finds much to admire, but takes exception to his apparent overuse of the epithet “marxofascist” − especially when applied to Jaunā Gaita (in the ‘70’s...)

  • Ildze Kronta comments on a memoir, Barjērskrējiens (Hurdle Run) by Jānis Škapars, editor of Literatūra un Māksla (Literature and Art) 1969-1985: Without compromise there would not have been such a newspaper, but compromise, undeniably, sacrificed something...

  • The latest installment of Eva Eglāja-Kristsone’s study of cultural contacts between occupied Latvia and the Latvian exile community focuses on the period 1968-1971 and, in particular, on Olaf Stumbrs’ and Valentīns Pelēcis’ trips to Latvia.


  • Actor-playwright Uldis Siliņš has a special talent for provoking smiles in the grimmest of situations. In a chapter from his autobiography he relates some experiences as a teenage war refugee in Germany.


  • Featured are color reproductions of a monotype by Gerda Roze, an acrylic by Ināra Matīsa and photography by Līga Balode-Svikss. Roze and Matīsa are nonrepresentational abstractionists who have delighted our readers in previous issues, but Balode-Svikss, an accomplished young artist who has exhibited widely in the US and Latvia, is a newcomer to these pages.


  • The passing of John Updike, many of whose novels have been translated into the Latvian language, is marked by Jānis Krēsliņš, Sr. with a translation of his poem “Requiem”.

  • Juris Šlesers points to evidence of a looming demographic crisis for Latvia and proposes coming to grips with it by importing, accepting, integrating, adopting and marrying foreigners.

  • In Letters from Readers, one Pelikāns comments on the January 13 near-riot in Riga and draws parallels with the historic real riot on the same date in 1905.

  • The Jānis Bieriņš award this year goes to Baiba Bredovska, a teacher in Hamilton Latvian School in Canada.

  • Archy the Cockroach drops his mask of civility, declares war on humanity, and abandons all diacritical marks in the Kiberkambaris column.


  • Culture news briefs from all over the world. JG welcomes two new contributors: Vita Gaiķe in the Recent Books section and Māris Brancis in the Visual Arts section.


  • The third collection of poetry by Kārlis Vērdiņš (Lalita Muižniece)

  • The seventh volume of the collected works of Dzintars Sodums, a novel by Jānis Rokpelnis, In Love With Jerzy Kosinski by Agate Nesaule, and a history of Latvian theater in the US and Canada by Viktors Hausmanis (Juris Silenieks)

  • A biography of the great chorusmasters Gido and Imants Kokars by Laima Muktupāvela (Biruta Sūrmane)

  • The Case for Latvia by Jukka Rislaki (Gundars Ķeniņš-Kings and Aija Veldre Beldava)

  • The fall 2008 issue of the Journal of Baltic Studies (Gundars Ķeniņš-Kings)

  • A play by the Rumanian playwright Saviana Stănescu (Jānis Krēsliņš, jun.)

  • A novel by Inga Žolude (Aina Siksna); and October 2008 to March 2009 issues of the literary monthly Karogs (Juris Zommers)



Jaunā Gaita