Poetry Days "Words Creating Images" - The Art of Poetry in Smaller Languages
As part of the International Poetry Festival 2023, the Embassy of Ireland in Latvia, in partnership with the Latvian Writers' Union, Literature Ireland, and the National Library of Latvia, hosted a discussion event titled "Words Creating Images : Writing Poetry in Smaller Languages."
As part of our 2023 literature series "Words Creating Images", the Embassy of Ireland, in partnership with Literature Ireland, the Latvian Writers' Union and the National Library of Latvia, hosted pop-up poetry readings and a panel discussion titled "Words Creating Images" - The Art of Poetry in Smaller Languages". The event took place as part of the Poetry Days festival organised by the Latvian Writers' Union.
Irish poets Áine Uí Fhoghlú, Seosamh Ó Murchú, and Molly Twomey travelled to Riga for the festival and took part in a number of events over the course of the week. Several of their poems were translated into Latvian by renowned translators Ieva Lešinska and Ivars Šteinbergs.
The pop-up readings of Irish poetry in the main concourse of the National Library of Latvia drew lots of interest and curiosity. The poets read in Irish and in English and, for the first time in Latvia, their works were read in the Latvian translation. It was a real delight for us at the Embassy to hear the Irish language in the surrounds of the National Library.
The panel discussion took place on 7 September in the beautiful premises of the National Library of Latvia and involved a lively discussion between Irish poets Áine Ní Fhoghlú, Seosamh Ó Murchú and Molly Twomey, Latgalian poet Anna Rancāne, and Livonian poet and Director of the Livonian Institute Valts Ernštreits. The participants discussed the value of writing poetry in Irish, Livonian and Latgalian and what it means to them to be able to write in the language in which they experience the world. The consciousness of the decision to write in particular languages, the challenges of translation, and ability to explore different themes when working in their own languages all featured in the discussion.
At the end, the poets read a selection of their poems in the original language accompanied by Latvian translations read by Ieva Lešinska.