Druskininkai Poetic Fall
29 September - 4 October
This week marks the beginning of the annual 32nd International literature festival Druskininkai Poetic Fall, which begins with the presentation of Druskininkai Poetic Fall Anthology. This year’s Druskininkai Poetic Fall anthology, which we will present on Wednesday, September 29 at the House of Histories, will contain poems from both Lithuanian and foreign authors. It will contain translated verses by Lithuanian authors included in this anthology: Dainius Gintalas, Liudvikas Jakimavičius, Aušra Kaziliūnaitė, Giedrė Kazlauskaitė, Kerry Shawn Keys, Laima Kreivytė, Tomas Petrulis, Alvydas Šlepikas, Violeta Šoblinskaitė.
We anticipate the occasion by announcing the laureates of the Yotvingian and Young Yotvingian Awards. By decision of the award committee, this year’s Yotvingian Award goes to Dainius Gintalas for his book Vienos vasaros giesmė, (Song of one summer; Lithuanian Writers’ Union Publishing House, 2021), Young Yotvingian Award goes to Nojus Saulytis for his book sms gėlytė (sms little flower; Kitos knygos, 2020). The Yotvingian and Young Yotvingian laureates will receive their awards during the Druskininkai Poetic Fall festival.
This year’s program includes all of the traditional events that take place during the festival: the discussion, the presentation and selling of books published during the year, exhibition openings, the Poetic Night, during which young poets will read their works, two-poem contests, poetry readings, meetings in Druskininkai schools. VERSOPOLIS readings will be presented by four emerging poets: Raymond Antrobus (UK), Valentina Colonna (Italy), Olena Herasymiuk (Ukraine), Olga Stehlikova (Czech Republic).
In the Gaol of Poetry
The theme of this year’s Druskininkai Poetic Fall is “In the Gaol of Poetry” Alvydas Šlepikas, Yotvingian Prize winner 2020:
– – – quarantine – emptiness, illness, cold – the poet closed up in in the tower opens a book and reads – writings in a notebook – I’ll write – the poet in gaol, in a tower, in quarantine, closed up, corralled – he pastes the walls with metonymies, the ceilings are made of creaks – the floors are of metaphor, and the roof – hexameters – time ticks quietly, calmly syllabatonic – anacruses and caesuras – please, take the years I’ve lived, my memories, the red cells of my blood, my illness – break the doors, break the clutches of metaphor – when did you see him last, when did you speak – I’m afraid to say, but he lived all closed up in his gaol writing strange, incomprehensible essays – and poetry? – he called piles of paper by that name – poetry, but we don’t know if it was there – if it was – we don’t know – I think that he is just an ordinary sloth without a voice, trying to use us – so break the doors – and entering slowly – the heavy metaphors sway, swing – yes – that’s where you are, that’s what happened to you, poet – the prisoner lies pale, bleeding out in peace – dead, suffocated – his mouth full – empty amphibrachs – choked on alliteration – and everything remains far away.