Aušra Kaziliūnaitė

Vilnius, Lithuania

Aušra Kaziliūnaitė (b. 1987) is a poet. She received a BA in History and an MA in Religious Studies. The poet, who is also a doctoral student of Philosophy at Vilnius University, so far has published four books of poetry: Pirmoji lietuviška knyga (2007; The First Lithuanian Book), 20% koncentracijos stovykla (2009; 20% Concentration Camp), Mėnulis yra tabletė (2014; The Moon Is a Pill) and esu aptrupėusios sienos (2016; I Am Crumbled Walls). She has received numerous national awards, including the Jurga Ivanauskaitė Prize and the Young Artist Prize of the Ministry of Culture. She is currently on an internship at the University of Amsterdam.

Aušra started writing at a very young age and she received early recognition. Her first publications in the national cultural press appeared as early as at the age of 15. When she was 19 her first book Pirmoji lietuviška knyga (2007), defiantly titled, was published and granted Elena Mezginaitė’s prize. At the age of 24 (in 2012) she became a member of the Lithuanian Association for Writers and still is one of its youngest members. She was granted the status of the Lithuanian Artist in the same year.

Aušra is interested in history, religion, cinema and philosophy. She gained a BA degree in History in the Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences together with the teacher’s qualification. Her bachelor paper titled Arijonybė kaip ostrogotiškosios tapatybės dalis defended at the Department of Social History received the highest evaluation. Aušra was teaching history to the young musicians, artists and dancers when taking professional internship at the National M. K. Čiurlionis School of Art. Having defended her Master thesis Religinis kinas kaip maišto forma: Piero Paolo Pasolini atvejis in 2013 she graduated from the Master’s program of Religious Sciences at the Centre for Religious Studies and Research (RSTC) and received a CUM LAUDE Master’s diploma. Currently Aušra is a doctoral student at the Department of Philosophy of Vilnius University. Her fields of interest include Michael Foucault’s philosophy, Film Theory and Utopian Studies.

The poet has published three books of poetry: Pirmoji lietuviška knyga (2007), 20 % koncentracijos stovykla (2009) ir Mėnulis yra tabletė (2014).

In the autumn of the year 2014 the third book by the poet titled Mėnulis yra tabletė appeared. Kasparas Pocius writes: In the book Mėnulis yra tabletė a new aesthetics is created that unites philosophical, artistic and revolutionary ideas, i.e. the aesthetics that is no longer concerned with the experiences of the lyrical subject and the process of transformation into the designation is intensively relived instead. Without being a part of an independent society such transformation is impossible. Aušra is no longer talking about herself as she is referring to the society of desire and she is addressing the very society as well as herself, internally, and, talking on behalf of “us”, she drowns in the forms of action that shift proteically and creates, on the basis of them, new poetry of ephemeric freedom, joy, madness and scream.
/.../ She invites one to break the tablet that the society, the market and the all-mighty literary canon treat us to.

Previously Aušra has worked as a reviewer of newly published books, as a film critic and as a journalist. Despite her young age, the poet has had the opportunity to participate in the committees and evaluate other lyricists’ works among which Schoolchildren’s Short Prose Contest that is held for the third year and the Contest of the Most Beautiful Lithuanian Book shall be mentioned. Aušra has contributed to the compilation of almanacs, organized literary evenings and hosted them. It has been several subsequent years that Aušra is one of the organizers of the audio-visual poetry festival TARP. Her poetry is translated into English, Russian, French, Polish and Latvian.

Aušra participates actively in movements of human rights and calls for equality, peace and sociality. She criticizes commoditized and hierarchical human relationships.