Mindaugas Grigaitis , 2010 05 28

Winner of the Poetry Spring 2010 Zita Mažeikaitė

I want to congratulate you as the winner of “Poetry Spring 2010”. How do you feel about getting so much attention?

Thank you. Well… to tell the truth, I want to go back to the forest again. I want this routine back as I feel taken out of the created peaceful being. I want to go back and live my usual life.

In one interview you modestly call yourself “grass of the poetry”, which is overgrown by many “more excellent and more intellectual” oaks and limes of our poetry. What contemporary poets are closest to you?

Marcelijus Martinaitis is always interesting to me – his particular, subtle, irredundant language. I always read and admire him. Jonas Strielkūnas was and still is unique: it is a gift of god to be able to rhyme like he does. I am also amazed by Kornelijus Platelis who lets in so much of game and irony into his poetry. I myself like poetry without exaggerated seriousness. Philosophising is beautiful only when it is mixed with play and irony. The language of Algimantas Mikuta is especially beautifully harmonised and playful. Nijolė Daujotytė and Nijolė Miliauskaitė are also very close to me. There are many beautiful poems of Vytautas Bložė or Algimantas Baltakis. I could mention many poets.

“Poetry Spring” is assessed very controversially. The formers of almanacs and some poets very often mention that this event is already tired. The winner of “Poetry Spring 2009” Rimvydas Stankevičius spoke about the poetic conjuncture three years ago. Kęstutis Navakas with several friends have organised a playful parody and declared about disassociation from the official “Poetry Spring” last year. How do you assess talks about the burn-out of this event?

Well, let’s say the almanac of “Poetry Spring” is a huge challenge to its compilers. They must be satisfied with what poets send to them. About “Poetry Spring” itself? I don’t think that we should blame this event for it is like it is. I think it is very various.

You have become the winner of the 46th “Poetry Spring”, was awarded with Salomėja Nėris prize for your poetry and with Swedish Academy prize for translations of poetry and prose. How do you assess poetry ratings and awards?

I do not rate or participate in the selection of the winners. You know, those prizes and awards… you just get them and nothing can be done…

So, you do not prominence the poetic awards?

Certainly not. Well, the Swedish Academy prize for translations from Swedish Language is very pleasant. It is the honourable evaluation of long and hard work.

Which is dearer to you – translation or poetry?

Most of the time I spend in translating. Poetry – is the unexpectedly visited favour. You don’t know when or how, or where. You just get it and indulge in it. Translation is also a creative dizziness where you can feel the joy of creating. This pleasurable dizziness, creative favour is a gift that exhilarates and enriches. Everything seems so far and careless, you just feel the pleasure of creative process, feel the heroes, the world of a different creator. This is what is most important for me in creation.

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