Literature festival explores heritage of Soviet-era modernist poet

Take note – story published 4 years ago

The third annual festival of the Punctum magazine starting May 20 investigates the heritage of Monta Kroma (1919–1994), an underexplored modernist poet who wrote about urban life and female desire in a manner defying the canons of socialist realism prevalent under the Soviet Union. 

Featuring a number of events, such as a literary conference, readings on modernism, as well as re-interpretations of Kroma's poems by the literati of today, the festival also has an English-language event that might be of interest to international audiences.

Titled Answers on a Postcard, it's a poetic walk that starts near the November 11 embankment on May 22 and features a personal take on Rīga by British writer Anna Lawrence Pietroni. 

The walk probes a couple of pressing questions: "How, for instance, do sparrows, East Berlin in 1979, closeted sexuality, a Pentecostal church and a bridge in Glasgow inform and overlay a perspective of the city? And how is the view of Riga coloured by the knowledge that you visit the city at first as a European, but will return as an outsider? What do you leave behind and what do you take home with you? And what mark will Riga make on your experience of other cities and your own?"

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