Baltic Assembly Prize for Literature awarded to Māris Bērziņš


On Tuesday, 6 October, having convened in the Saeima to evaluate the nominees for the Baltic Assembly (BA) prizes, an international jury decided to award this year’s Prize for Literature to the Latvian writer Māris Bērziņš, author of the novel “Svina garša” (Taste of Lead). The novel, published earlier this year, portrays fateful events in the lives of Latvians at the beginning of World War II. 

The BA Prize for Arts will be awarded to the Lithuanian conductor Modestas Pitrėnas for strengthening the synergy among the cultures of the Baltic countries through performances at Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian concert halls and theatres. 

The Prize for Science will be awarded to the Estonian nominees Eva-Clarita Pettai and Vello Pettai for their monograph “Transitional and Retrospective Justice in the Baltic States”.

The monetary value of each prize is EUR 5000. The awards ceremony will be held as part of the annual BA session on 19-20 November in Vilnius, Lithuania. 

The international jury was composed of nine experts in literature, science and the arts from Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia. 

The other nominees in each category were: 

In literature

  • Sigitas Parulskis, Lithuania. Poet, writer, literary critic, essayist and translator. Nominated for his novels “Darkness” and “Company”, as well as the collection of essays  “Wanting Something Tender Before Dying and My Fang Conviction”;
  • Triin Soomets, Estonia. Collection of poems “Features of Things” (2013);

In arts

  • Laima Jansone, Latvia. Ethnomusicologist, composer and a virtuoso of the Latvian traditional string instrument kokle. Nominated for promoting the tradition of playing the kokle, and popularising the instrument in contemporary academic, jazz, and world music;
  • Helen Sildna, Estonia. Nominated for her contribution in enriching and promoting internationally Estonian music as the founder and organiser of the Tallinn Music Week festival;

In Science:

  • Prof.habil. Zenonas Norkus, Lithuania. Nominated for his monographs “On Baltic Slovenia and Adriatic Lithuania: A Qualitative Comparative Analysis of Patterns in Post-Communist Transformation” (2012) and “Two Twenty-Year Periods of Independence: Capitalism, Class and Democracy in the First and the Second Republic of Lithuania from the Point of View of Comparative Historical Sociology” (2014);
  • Dr.iur. Tālavs Jundzis, Latvia. Nominated for research on the restoration of independence of Latvia. His publications include the collection of documents “Regaining Independence: Non-violent Resistance in Latvia 1945-1991;” and the monograph “Restoration of Sovereignty and Independence of the Republic of Latvia 1946-1994”, co-authored with Eduards Bruno Deksnis.

The BA Prize was established in 1994 and since then has been awarded to several well-known scientists, artists and cultural workers. Last year the Prize for Arts was awarded to Alvis Hermanis, Stage Director of the New Riga Theatre, for the production of numerous theatre performances, notably the play Oblomovs. The Prize for Literature was awarded to the Estonian writer Peeter Sauter for his novel Do Not Leave Me Alone („Ära jäta mind rahule”), 2012. The Prize for Science went to the Lithuanian professor Dr.habil. Juozas Vidas Gražulevičius for his significant achievements in materials chemistry and engineering, as well as for active collaboration with scientists from the other Baltic countries in initiating and conducting research projects.

About the Baltic Assembly:
The Baltic Assembly is an interparliamentary cooperation organisation of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania established on 8 November 1991. Each national parliament of the Baltic States is represented in the Baltic Assembly by 12 to 20 members of the parliament. It is a coordinating and consultative organisation which has a right to express its opinion to the national parliaments and governments of the Baltic States, as well as the Baltic Council of Ministers, in the form of resolutions, decisions, declarations and recommendations; it also has a right to request the above-mentioned bodies to provide information on cross-border issues that are high on the Baltic Assembly’s agenda.


Saeima Press Service

Svētdien, 3.jūlijā