Jaunā Gaita nr. 292. Pavasaris 2018



JG 291



JG 292


  • Our featured artists are Lilija Dinere and Roberts Diners. Much of their art is collaborative, as in the illustrations accompanying some verses of Old Icelandic song, newly translated by poet Uldis Bērziņš (pages 1-3). Many other examples of their art are displayed throughout this issue. Art editor Linda Treija writes: “The art of Lilija Dinere and her son Roberts Diners arouses emotion in all who view it, but especially so in those who are educated in cultural history those who recognize the symbols and the references. Each work of art is rich with stories, ancient myths which connect us powerfully to our own time.” The cover design is based on Lilija Dinere’s painting The Great Inhabitant.

  • Maija Meirāne gives an appreciation of the life of poet/artist Erna Ķikure (1906-2003), as reflected in a recent publication by her daughter Inese Birstiņa and designer Nelson Vignault.


  • Poet Dace Micāne-Zālīte contributes some of her latest verses, and Bitīte Vink­lere shares examples of her English translations of Baiba Bičole, a major Latvian poet.

  • A short story by Vladis Spāre, “Bird of Misfortune”, portrays a young man deeply involved with figments of his imagination. Ilze Lāce-Verhaeghe in “Pigeons on Josette’s Roof” depicts a very old woman confronting harsh reality. Lāsma Gaitniece gives a poignant account of the passing of her beloved grandfather.

  • Rita Grigāne summarizes her award-winning undergraduate thesis in the Latvian Academy of Culture – on the French triolet tradition in Latvian poetry.

  • Laima Martinskis interviews writer Rudīte Raudupe (Rudite Emir when writing in English). She sees a profound relationship between the ancient Vedic traditions of India and the world-view manifested in Latvian dainas (folk songs).


  • Composer / music journalist Dace Aperāne, our newest editorial staff member, interviews Reinis Zariņš, a young internationally acclaimed virtuoso pianist.


  • Dagmāra Beitnere-Le Galla, a senior researcher at the University of Latvia Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, looks into the foundations of the European Union’s policies and actions with regard to accomodating refugees and migrants from the Middle East and Africa. Independent journalist Otto Ozols also weighs in on the problems of the EU, criticizes its leadership, and urges citizens to take their democratic responsibilities seriously.


  • Pēteris Korsaks describes the life of Gothards Grīnvalds (1905-1986), an amateur photographer whose powerful images from the time of the occupation of Latvia in WWII and from his personal experience of enslavement in Siberia have recently been exhibited. Some of his photographs are reproduced on pages 54-57.


  • Juris Šlesers reviews Rita Laima’s Skylarks and Rebels, a memoir of the author’s attempt to find happiness in Soviet-occupied Latvia after being brought up as a Latvian in Metropolitan New York.

  • Lāsma Gaitniece reviews two books, (1) Pēdējās dienas Kurzemē (Final Days in Courland), a collection of short stories by Jānis Sudrabiņš about the end of WWII in Latvia; and (2) Sarkanais dzīvsudrabs (Red Quicksilver by Arno Jundze, a novel set in the first decade of Latvia’s renewed Independence). Gaitniece also evaluates the literary legacy of Andris Grūtups, a lawyer who wrote about the careers of notorious criminals.

  • Māris Roze reviews 15. maija Latvija (Latvia of May 15), a compilation of articles by seven historians on the ramifications of the coup d'état of Kārlis Ulmanis on May 15, 1934, when he abolished parliament and assumed the mantle of dictator.

BRIEFLY NOTED – In Memoriam, Awards, Recent Publications, Miscellaneous.

SLIPPERY SLOPE – Tomass Stepiņš, a young man with earnest literary aspirations, describes the poetry slam as practiced in Latvia.



Jaunā Gaita