Virtual conference to celebrate writer Jaan Kaplniski's 80th birthday

Jaan Kaplinski, 1941-2021.
Jaan Kaplinski, 1941-2021. Source: Ülo Josing /ERR

On January 22, a conference dedicated to writer Jaan Kaplinkski's 80th anniversary "Luuletused on elanud maakeral juba eotseenist saadik" will take place.

The conference is being held by representatives of the ministry of culture, the city of Tartu, the Writers' Union and the Estonian Literary Museum and a virtual exhibition dedicated to the writer will be presented.

Literature researchers Thomas Salumets, Arne Merilai, Tiina Kirss, Leena Kurvet-Käosaar, Mart Velsker, Ene-Reet Soovik, Märt Väljataga, Sirel Heinloo and Joosep Susi will give presentations.

Historian Marek Tamm will speak about Kaplinski's ecological thinking, linguists Jingyi Gao and Karl Pajusaru about discuss words in Estonian and Chinese. Sociologist Marju Lauristin's and author Sirje Kiin's presentations will be dedicated to reminders from the near and distant past.

The main organizer Arne Merilai said the conference is trying to offer new insights to the writer's creations. "Jaan Kaplinski is a great Estonian poet, essayist and thinker. His writings have been translated into many different languages and his world view has affected us and the world."

The conference will be followed by a poetry reading "Kaplsinki tagasiminek".

Poems will be presented by Aare Pilv, Arne Merilai, Helo Kaplinski, Kersti Unt, Kerstin Vestel, Lisanna Lajal, Marja Unt, Saara Lotta Linno, Siim Lill, Sirel Heinloo, Toomas Leppik.

Jaan Kaplinski was born on January 22, 1941 in Tartu and is an Estonian poet, philosopher, and culture critic. Kaplinski is known for his independent mind, focus on global issues and support for left-wing and liberal thinking. He published numerous collections of poems, prose, and essays.

He translated literature from French, English, Spanish, Chinese, including the Tao Te Ching, and Swedish, the work of Tomas Tranströmer.

Kaplinski was one of the authors and initiators of the so-called Letter of 40 intellectuals (Neljakümne kiri) action, which was a letter signed by well-known Estonian intellectuals protesting against the behavior of the authorities in Soviet-annexed Estonia was sent to the main newspapers of the time.


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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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