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Some headlines of the 2015

Liucijos Kvašytės nuotrauka

A Lithuanian designer at London Fashion Week

The International Fashion Showcase (IFS) is a festival of emerging designers organized by the British Council and the British Fashion Council during London Fashion Week. The event is coordinated in collaboration with London embassies and cultural institutes to showcase their countries’ most exciting designers in an exhibition that reflects their nations’ contemporary culture.
For the first time, Lithuania was represented at this festival by designer Liucija Kvašytė, who presented her collection Journey 1983–2013. Her designs were presented as part of the Next in Line platform for young emerging designers.

In addition to the presentation of her collection, Liucija Kvašytė also took part in intensive seminars. She was named Best Young Designer in the festival’s fashion category.
The project’s partners were the British Council, the Lithuanian Culture Institute, the cultural attaché of the Republic of Lithuania in the United Kingdom, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania.


Lithuanian literature in the Inostrannaya Literatura journal

In April 2015, the Russian literary journal Inostrannaya Literatura published an edition showcasing Lithuanian literature. A presentation of this edition was held in Moscow at the commemorative home of Lithuanian scholar Jurgis Baltrušaitis, which is located near the embassy of the Republic of Lithuania.

This publication was also presented on 9 April at the M.I. Rudomino All-Russian State Library of Foreign Literature and on 10 April at the Jurgis Baltrušaitis Middle School in Moscow.
The senior editor of Inostrannaya Literatura, Aleksandr Livergant, hosted the presentation. Also in attendance were members of the editorial team for the issue of the journal spotlighting Lithuania: project coordinator Rūta Mėlinskaitė from the Lithuanian Culture Institute; journal editor and translator and Marija Čepaitytė; writer Dalia Staponkutė; poet and editor of Literatūra ir menas weekly Gytis Norvilas; and translators Georgij Jefremov, Aleksandra Vasilkova, Anna Gerasimova, Nikolajus Kotrelevas, Tamara Perunova.

The special March edition of Inostrannaya Literatura (2015, No. 3) was titled “Lithuania: scattered and collected”.

According to project coordinator Rūta Mėlinskaitė, the title is an accurate summation of the recent trajectory of Lithuanian literature and history.

The cover illustration is a reproduction of a painting representing three Lithuanian brothers by the Polish-based Lithuanian artist Stasys Eidrigevičius. It was painted in 1990, the year Lithuania regained its independence.

According to project coordinator Rūta Mėlinskaitė, “The concept of experiences that have been scattered and then collected, which could not have matured in the conditions of the recent past, has borne fruit. It is only in contemporary Lithuania that a play could be written about a Lithuanian charlatan who follows Adam Mickiewicz to Paris and who leaves Honoré de Balzac and George Sand flabbergasted, or a narrative about two Red Army veterans, who had once fought against Lithuanian freedom fighters, looking for money to buy vodka on the feast day of St Stanislaus, or an essay by a Franciscan priest that examines the guilt of Lithuanians in the massacres of Jews.”

It is only today that certain books can sit on a shelf beside each other: the diaries of people such as the post-war partisan Lionginas Baliukevičius-Dzūkas, the emigre poet Alfonsas Nyka-Niliūnas, the and Soviet-era literary scholar Vytautas Kubilius, or the essay-novel of Cyprus-based Lithuanian writer Dalia Staponkutė.

All of this – just a small sampling of Lithanian literature, short fiction, non-fiction, drama, and poetry – were gathered together according to the assigned theme.
We hope that this fascicle of Lithuanian literature will help Russian-language readers to more closely understand and grasp Lithuania’s past and present.

Nuotraukos autorė - Rūta Statulevičiūtė-Kaučikienė

Nuotraukos autorė – Rūta Statulevičiūtė-Kaučikienė

Anthology of Lithuanian poetry in English

Between 11 and 15 April, young poets Ilzė Butkutė, Marius Burokas, and Giedrė Kazlauskaitė, along with translator Rimas Uzgiris attended the AWP – the annual conference and bookfair of the American Association of Writers & Writing Programs. They travelled to the United States to promote a new publication of the Lithuanian Culture Institute: How the Earth Carries Us. New Lithuanian Poets. The book is an anthology of poems by up and coming Lithuanian poets that have been translated into English.

Events to promote the anthology were also held in Baltimore and Washington.

The idea to promote the works of the new generation of Lithuanian poets to American publishers came from translator Rimas Uzgiris. The Lithuanian Culture Institute suggested that he and poet Marius Burokas draw up a list of poets whose work could be translated and presented. Twenty-six poets were selected.

The anthology contains short biographies and three to six poems by each poet. The principle goal of the anthology was to introduce the poets to publishers and to encourage the latter to publich the poets.

Visitors to the AWP conference and bookfair became the first readers to be acquainted with new Lithuanian poetry.

More than 12 000 people attend this annual event. It attracts writers, lecturers, students, editors, publishers, educators, and experts in contemporary literature.

This year, the largest literary gathering in North America featured more than 500 readings, 2 000 new publications, and 700 publishers and organizations.

The presentation of this Lithuanian anthology was one of 550 events selected for the conference programme from among 1300 submissions.

After receiving the green light to take part in this massive conference, it was determined that more events should be added to the visit by these younger poets. In collaboration with Evaldas Stankevičius, Lithuania’s cultural attaché in the US, poetry readings in Chicago and Washington were added to their itinerary.

Project coordinator Kotryna Pranckūnaitė said: “We were very pleased with the event at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, which drew people who could have a positive impact on the advancement of Lithuanian poetry in the world.”

This was the first time that younger generation Lithuanian poets were given the opportunity to promote themselves – and to be promoted – in the USA.

Participation at the AWP conference was very important because it gave the selected poets the opportunity to make new connections and to promote Lithuanian poetry in the USA.
Also, according to Kotryna Pranckūnaitė, “It’s nice to know that, while we are promoting superb poets and talented translators, we are also presenting a beautifully designed anthology that displays the high level of book design in Lithuania.” Designer Tomas Mrazauskas gave the book a poetic and spring-themed aesthetic. The Lithuanian Council for Culture partly financed the initiative to promote Lithuanian poetry in the USA.