This week, the Baltic Women Writers' Tour touches down in Oxford, with an evening of poetry in translation at Waterstones Oxford on the evening of 2 June, and a panel at Oxford Translation Day on 3 June! The tour aims to shed light on new and extraordinary literary talent from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia: to uncover and highlight the emergence of women’s writing in each country, to analyse Soviet legacy, and to give a stage to contemporary women voices from the region. Full details of the tour programme can be found here.
Erika Lastovskyte is a publicist, translator, editor and journalist. She has received her MA in English Studies from Vilnius University and currently lives in Oxford (UK). Erika is a creator, developer and manager of various cultural programs and projects. She is a recipient of the individual stipend from Lithuanian Council for Culture and is currently involved in promotion of Lithuanian literature in the English speaking countries.
Johanna Ross is a literary critic and the editor-in-chief at the journal Keel ja Kirjandus (Language and Literature). In 2015, she received the Ants Oras Award for literary criticism. She is currently writing her PhD in Estonian literature at Tartu University. Her main interests include Soviet literature and women’s writing; the thesis concerns female Bildungsroman in the 1960s – 1970s Soviet Estonian literature and their reception. She has also translated contemporary fiction from English into Estonian, including authors such as Sue Monk Kidd, Lionel Shriver, and Sarah Winman.
Karla Gruodis is a translator, editor, and artist based in Vilnius, where she founded and edited Lithuania’s first English-language newspaper, The Lithuanian Review, in 1990. She is the editor and author of Feminist Excursus: The Concept of Woman from Antiquity to Postmodernism (1995), and was active in the post-Soviet Lithuanian women’s movement. Her translations include Leonidas Donskis’ A Small Map of Experience: Aphorisms and Reflections (2013) and regular contributions to the online literary journal Vilnius Review. Karla is currently working on the English translation of Lithuanian modernist author Antanas Škėma’s 1958 novel The White Shroud, which will be published by Vagabond Voices in Fall 2017.
Nora Ikstena is one of the most visible and influential prose writers in Latvia, possessing elaborate style and detailed approach to language. In her prose, Nora Ikstena reflects on life, love, death and faith. Mother’s Milk (2015, Annual Literature Award for best prose), Besa (2012), Celebrating Life (1998), The Virgin’s Lesson (2001) are only some of her widely appreciated novels. Novel Amour Fou has been staged as a theatre play, and published in Russian (2010); other works have been translated into Lithuanian, Estonian, Georgian, Swedish, Danish, etc. Ikstena is also a prolific author of biographical fiction, non-fiction, scripts, essays, and collections of short prose, including Life Stories (2004), published in English in 2013, and Hindi in 2015. Her newest novel Mother’s Milk will be published in the UK in 2017/2018.