The XXI Annual International Literary Festival
Druskininkai Poetic Fall 2010
The theme of the conference: Poetic Schools and Personal Addictions.
Each one us could probably tell a few stories about poets we found fascinating at the start of our creative working lives, recall poetics in various countries and languages that left an impression, and identify which “non-poetic” areas of reality caught our attention and seeped imperceptibly into our texts. These are all personal addictions. They can also become poetical schools – but when and how? Does it happen when a great poet appears, explores new stylistic horizons within a language environment, and attracts a certain number of followers? When a “critical mass” of poets engaging in similar stylistics come together? When a group of people signs a specific art manifesto and attempts to live out its proclamations for a length of time? These and other instances may prove to be true.
Poetical schools always reflect a dominant taste and the demand of a particular community of readers-listeners, or work within the realm of a guild, religion, or some other arbitors. Therefore, it is clear that poetical schools were more easily identifiable in the past, beginning with ancient poetry written in many languages and ending with the Modernist movements of 20th century, which passionately engaged in a stylistic discourse with previous schools of poetry. This allowed them to more actively preserve the features of a “school.”
In democratic societies, both the demand for poetry and the constraint felt by poets is less prevalent. As a result, society also loses interst in poetry. This manifests differently in different countries. A question arises: is it still possible to find excitement in identifying poetic schools and compiling a list of the practitioners in a certain language? As far as I know, poetic schools in America identify and analyze themselves. What is the reason for this? Is it the large number of English language poets and readers, creative writing programs at universities, or some other reason? And what about other countries?
It seems that it was easier to identify poetical schools in Lithuanian poetry in the period between the two World Wars. I think we can cite a “school” followers of our romantic poet Maironis and also futurists from the “Four Winds” group. Despite the severe constraints of censorship, it is more difficult to identify poetic schools during the Soviet period. Though, perhaps it might be possible to point to smaller schools or “classes” at work in our earlier or contemporary poetry?
We look forward to the following anonymous contests: a single poem; “A School poem;” and the humorous “Confession of my Personal Addiction.” Participants who would like to take part in “A School poem” should submit a poem in Lithuanian translation written in the style of a certain poetic school that establishes it as such. Direct imitations will not be considered. All competitions are held in Lithuanian. Translators will submit poems written by our guests for the Competition of One Single Poem. Those who want to participate in “A School poem” should contact their translators.
October 7. Thursday
Arrival of our foreign guests in Vilnius.
17.30 Departure of foreign guests to Druskininkai from the
Writers Club, Vilnius, K.Sirvydo 6.
October 8. Friday
8.30 Departure of participants from Vilnius, Lithuanian Writers‘ Union, K.Sirvydo 6.
10.00 Lessons in creative writing at Atgimimas and Rytas High Schools (parallel).
11.00 Registration of participants. Druskininkai, Centre Dainava, Maironio St. 16.
14.00 Opening of the festival. Discussion: Poetic Schools and Personal Addictions. Moderators:
Agnë Þagrakalytë and Edgaras Platelis. Dainava, Main Hall.
16.00 Coffee break.
16.30 Continuation of the discussion.
19.00 Poetry readings. Dainava, Main Hall.
21.00 Poetic night: Readings by Young Lithuanian Poets and Open Mic. Café „Ðirdelë“.
October 9. Saturday
10.00 Prosaic cabbage soup by Andrius Mosiejus in Dainava courtyard.
11.00 Poetic performances in Dainava courtyard: Bob Holman’s slam and
Painting Workshop for Poets.
14.00 Presentation of DPF anthology and other books. Dainava Main Hall.
Mini Book Fair in the Dainava Library.
16.00 Poetry readings. Dainava Main Hall.
19.00 Final poetry evening. Presentation of the Jotvingiai Prize and other prizes. Auction of
paintings made by poets. Centre Dainava, Main Hall.
21.00 Poetry night: competitions and performances: Secret Addictions. Centre Dainava restaurant.
October 10. Sunday
12.00 Departure to Vilnius.
18.00 Readings by DPF guests and winners of prizes. St. Catherine’s Church. Vilnius St. 30.
Catherine’s Church. Vilnius, Vilnius St. 30.
October 11. Monday
17.00 After-festival poetry readings in Uþupis Café. Moderator Antanas A.Jonynas.
Republic of Uþupis.
October 12. Tuesday
19.00 Bob Holman‘s slam at Fluxus Ministerium. Gedimino Av. 27, Vilnius.
For one anonymous poem;
For the “School” Poem
Humorous: “Confession of my Personal Addiction”.
Culture Endowment Fund of the Republic of Lithuania; Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania; EU Culture Programme; The Dutch Foundation for Literature; American centre; Polish Institute in Vilnius; Slovene Writers’ Association; AB “Alita”; Centre “Dainava”; Druskininkai Municipality; weekly “Literatûra ir menas”; “Tobis”.