Inese Zandere „Putna miegā” / In a Bird’s Slumber

The Latvian poet Inese Zandere has published 4 collections of poems and more than 20 collections of poems and fairytale books for children. As Pēteris Bankovskis, a Latvian cultural critic, writes of her work: “Zandere’s poetry belongs to the aesthetics of New Simplicity: she uses refined and deliberate means to create the effect of ostensible simplicity and very direct emotional appeal.”
Born in Dobele in 1958, Zandere graduated from the Department of Philosophy of the University of Latvia in 1981. She worked as an editor of the Avots Publishing House and Diena daily newspaper, as well as the editor of a children’s newspaper from 1987 to 1992. She is one of the founding editors of Rīgas Laiks magazine who has been at the center of Latvia’s intellectual life since its first issue in 1993. In 2004 Inese Zandere founded Liels un Mazs (Big and Small), which is a publishing house for children’s literature. She has been a member of the Latvian Writers Union since 1988, and the International PEN Club since 1989.
Her books of poems Melnās čūskas maiznīca (Black Serpent’s Bakery, 2003) and Putna miegā (In a Bird’s Slumber, 2014) were met with universal acclaim from both critics and the public, and were awarded numerous prizes for poetry. Her poetry has been translated in English, Russian, Swedish, German, Hungarian, Lithuanian, Bulgarian, Ukrainian, Finnish and Czech. In addition, Zandere also writes short prose and essays.
The author is an active member of IBBY Latvia and eager participant in the reading promotion programme. The vivid detail, benevolent humor and playfulness so characteristic of Zandere’s poetry has helped several generations of Latvian children discover the joy of reading. Her award-winning collection of children’s poetry Iekšiņa un āriņa (Inside and Outside, 2002) became an instant bestseller and is in its fifth print run. In 2006 – 2014 experts of IBBY Latvia nominated a number of books by Zandere for the International Baltic Sea Region Jānis Balvilks Prize in Childrens Literature and Book Art; the Baltvilks Award went to her for her books Māsa un brālis (Sister and Brother) and Ja tu esi sivēns (If You Happen to Be a Little Pig, 2007). Four of Zandere’s books have been included on the IBBY List of Honour.
Her poems, fairy tales, plays, scripts and librettos have been turned into theatre productions and animated films. They have also come out as audio books. Numerous composers have been inspired by her work and composed songs based on her poems. Inese Zandere received a Ministry of Culture Award for her contribution to the development of children’s literature (2007) as well as the Latvian Order of the Three Stars in 2008, which is the highest state award of the Republic of Latvia.