The XIX Annual International Literary Festival
DRUSKININKAI POETIC FALL 2008
The theme of the XIX Druskininkai Poetic Fall: Poetry: Strolls in the
Orbis Tertius or Steps Towards Reality?
Long ago, people started to ask questions about the reality of the
reality, or to be more precise about the reality of its reflection in
our consciousness. This was done in the East and Ancient Greece in a
very radical way. Religions with a history as a part of their sacred
text that have been later dominant in the West did not leave much place
for such questions. (Adam, on getting permission to name all
things and even after he bit into the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge,
apparently did not ponder the demiurge nature of this act; at least it
is not stressed in the Bible, and got involved with creating heirs.)
Now in times of total cultural syncretism this question sounds louder.
Some people try to ask and to answer it in a traditional philosophic
way; others, not wishing to bother themselves, move on into some kind
of Second Life (http://secondlife.com/)
where they do business, take part in politics, have fun, in other words
play the everyday games of their nondescript lives. Creators of these
and similar webs pacify such people by making them feel that there is a
Primary, real, life satisfying in this way our desire to take things
There exists of course a certain world registered by
the senses. We have a lot of means at our disposal to describe it, from
language to scientific experiments, but all these descriptions depend
on devices we use. Language itself, signs of culture, are of the same
Second, named world, Orbis Secundus,
as Borges would say, and are somehow torn away from Orbis Primus, which is always here
and now. We sense its presence, but it is not easy to say something
about it. Very often we do not feel the Second world; it exists by
itself. A toothache cant dispel the appearance of this world; it only
proves its reality. All our life proceeds in this Second world: things
get names, religious and political beliefs are taken, science and
The majority of people consider poetry as something
uplifted from the ground, therefore somehow torn away from Orbis Secundus as well. It is in
some sense, and we have to admit in many cases it is a phenomenon
of Orbis Tertius. But good
poetry and other arts are bound with invisible tethers to the First
world painted by our senses. Can poetry bring us for a moment at least
to a more real life? Is it her mission? Does she work this way
spontaneously or are her actions deliberate? Or maybe this is more a
prerogative of philosophy and religions? Teachers of various religious
practices for several thousand years have offered us real lives. Some
of them are sincere, some not, and on following them we often find
ourselves merely in another dream.
Our life gets more and more virtual. Contemporary
information technologies easily create appearances of all kinds that
intrude upon our lives uncontrollably. Television entertains with all
kinds of reality shows, delivering a crude socialization of ribaldry
into the public-cultural space. Traditional culture is pushed to the
side in the minds of people by means of global soap operas created by
forgers of the reality. Im not sure if Borges would have admitted
these into his Orbis Tertius,
whose reality was created in a more intellectual and more radical way.
The forging of reality is not just a game to occupy leisure time. There
are goods and money, politics and economics, education and culture,
there are destinies of people that depend on a fake reality that is
taken for the true one. What role in this opera is left for poets?
Something third-rate, of course. But how do they imagine their own role
in this? Do they fake reality as well, or do they try to destroy with
their cries the walls of these fictitious Jerichos?
The program in Druskininkai and in Vilnius will change a little: most
of the traditional activities will take place: two poetry evenings, the
presentation of books published during the year, the presentation of
work by guests from abroad in Vilnius in St. Catherines Church, and
the post-festival evening in the Užupis Café. Friday nights
readings will take place in Širdelė. Well try to organize this reading
like a reality show: young poets in one space and the rest of
participants who will read their poems from time to time in another.
Communication between these spaces will be by TV.
We are going to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the democratic
movement Sąjūdis and the 15th
anniversary of the exit of Soviet troops by reviving The Cupboard Theatre on Saturday
morning in the Dainava
Courtyard. We are going to collaborate on a common project with Books
from Lithuania and Literature Across Frontiers from Wales: five
European and five Lithuanian poets will translate each others poems
into their languages. Their work will be presented on Saturday at the
16.00 h. readings. The closing Saturday night readings will be in the
manner of Carnival, and therefore everybody is kindly asked to have a
We anticipate the following anonymous contests: a single poem; A poem
by an Other; and the
humorous: parody poem. Participants who would like to take part in A
poem by an Other should
submit a poem written in the style of another poet and signed with this
poets name. The jury will evaluate two aspects of the submitted work:
how the poem responds the style of a named author and is it a poem at
all. Direct re-makes will not be considered.
October 2. Thursday
Arrival of our foreign guests in Vilnius.
17.30 Departure of foreign guests to Druskininkai from the
Writers Club, Vilnius, K.Sirvydo 6.
20.00 Dinner. Café Širdelė in Druskininkai.
October 3. Friday
8.30 Departure of participants from Vilnius, Lithuanian Writers Union,
11.00 Registration of participants. Druskininkai, Centre Dainava, Maironio St. 16.
13.00 Lessons in creative writing at Atgimimas
High Schools (parallel).
14.00 Opening of the festival. Discussion: Poetry: Strolls in the Orbis Tertius or
Steps Towards Reality? Dainava, Main Hall.
16.00 Coffee break.
16.30 Continuation of the discussion.
19.00 Poetry readings and auction of poets manuscripts. Dainava, Main Hall.
21.00 Two reality shows for the price of one: Readings by Young Lithuanian Poets and
Night of One Poem.
October 4. Saturday
9.00 10.00 Breakfast.
11.00 Poetic performances in Dainava
14.00 Presentation of DPF anthology and other books. Dainava Main Hall. Mini Book Fair
in the Dainava Library.
16.00 Presentation of the work by participants of the Translators
Alexandra Büchler and Aušrinė Jonikaitė. Centre Dainava Main Hall.
19.00 Final poetry evening. Presentation of the Jotvingiai Prize and other prizes.
Centre Dainava, Main Hall.
21.00 Poetry night: competitions and performances: Other Face. Centre Dainava restaurant.
October 5. Sunday
9.00 11.00 Breakfast.
12.00 Departure to Vilnius.
18.00 Readings by DPF guests and winners of prizes. St. Catherines Church. Vilnius St.
20.00 Dinner. Closing of the Festival.
<> Anonymous Competitions:
October 6. Monday
17.00 After-festival poetry readings in Užupis Café. Moderator Antanas
A.Jonynas. Republic of Užupis.
For one anonymous poem;
A poem by an Other;
DPF Board of Experts:
Kornelijus Platelis (chairman), Antanas A. Jonynas (vice-chairman),
Andrius Mosiejus (treasurer), Gerardo Beltrán (Mexico), Gintaras
Bleizgys, Vladas Braziūnas, Erika Drungytė, Leszek Engelking (Poland),
Antanas Gailius, Sigitas Geda, Liudvikas Jakimavičius, Donaldas
Kajokas, Laurynas Katkus, Kerry Shawn Keys, Liana Ruokytė, Zenonas
Streikus, Marijus Šidlauskas, Ričardas Šileika, Antanas Šimkus, Alvydas
Šlepikas, Jonas Zdanys, Agnė Žagrakalytė.
Asociation Druskininkai Poetic Fall, Lithuanian P.E.N Centre, Centre
Culture Endowment Fund of the Republic of Lithuania; Ministry of
Culture of the Republic of Lithuania; Culture Ireland; Irish Literary
Exchange; the Embassy of Austria in Vilnius; Books from Lithuania;
Literature Across Frontiers; Ministry of Foreign Affairs and
Cooperation of Spanish Kingdom; the Embassy of Spanish Kingdom in
Vilnius; Polish Institute in Vilnius; San Francisco State University;
AB Alita; Centre Dainava; Druskininkai Municipality; weekly
Literatūra ir menas; Tobis; Drusva; Druskininkų Rasa.