Selected Poems

Collection of poems by Latvian poet Jānis Rokpelnis in the bilingual Velvet Series.

The touch of irony and humour that can be enjoyed in many of Rokpelnis poems is a very unique and refreshing feature, not often seen in contemporary Latvian poetry. Above all, throughout his poetry, discernible is a tangible love of language, a playfulness and a ‘what if?’ stance (/what if a fish were a violin?/ or  /deserts’ flocks/ spend the winter/ in our migratory bird nests/)– propelling his reader and, yes, also his translator on a surreal journey.

Margita Gailītis

Jānis Rokpelnis (1945) studied psychology and philosophy at the Leningrad University and graduated in philosophy from the History and Philosophy Department of the Latvian State University. He has edited numorous poetry and fiction books of younger authors. Rokpelnis has published seven poetry collections, three collections of essays and a novel. Rokpelnis is the author of numerous screenplays for puppet films. He has received the most prestigious literary award of the Baltic States – the Baltic Assembly Prize (2000), as well as numerous national awards.