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Postcard from Latvia

Poet and performer Rhys Trimble spent the month of December in residence at the Ventspils International Writers' and Translators’ House, writing and translating Latvian poets. The residency was the outcome of several poetry translation workshops organised by Latvian Literature in cooperation with Literature Across Frontiers which brought Rhys to Latvia and Latvian poets to Wales.

Post card reads:


efficacy that


  in your


spiritus loci

firebrick enclosure

turn your malleable fire

into a compulsion to


   and yet

all expression//

  coming to Ventspils house

represents my 7th visit to Latvia. This is a place, as described by Ieva Balode which provides whatever is needed by writers. Be it silence, shelter, support, a place to focus, a residency that provides in some cases political respite from oppressive regimes. The house isn’t asking for constant updates: a quota from a literary salt-mine. This open attitude like all true facilitation or good management produces ample results as evinced by shelves full of books written and translated in the library. I may now be able to add to them. I came here under some stress but the weight of industrious writers-past has pressed me down, compelled me to tease out the threads of my manifold projects and start to weave together and knot the fraying parts. I would recommend the international writer’s house at Ventspils to any writer who wishes to become part of its embodiment of a quiet kind of literary graft.

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