Uldis Bērziņš - „Izšūpojušies. Bibliotēka ostmalā” / A Library on the Levee

Uldis Bērziņš is a poet and translator. He was born in Riga in 1944. He studied Latvian philology at the University of Latvia (1962-64). His first poems were published in1963, while his first collection of poetry was published in 1980. He studied Turkish at the Oriental Studies Department of Leningrad University (1968-1971), expanding his knowledge of languages in the Asian and African Studies section of Moscow State University (Persian and Turkish), at Tashkent State University (Uzbek), Reykjavik University (Icelandic), as well as in Czechoslovakia, Sweden and elsewhere. He participated in an international seminar on translating Bible at Amsterdam Open University. He has also done fieldwork in the Theology Department of Lunda University on questions regarding the translation of the Koran. Since 2002 he has taught Turkish at the Department of Modern Languages at the University of Latvia. Bērziņš translates and renders from Slavic, Semitic, Turkish, Iranian, German and other languages, and is regarded as one of the most significant contemporary translators into Latvian, influencing numerous poets in both writing poetry and translating. Bērziņš has been a member of the Text Committee of the Latvian Bible Union, and is an honorary member of the Latvian Academy of Sciences (1992). He has been decorated with the Three Star Order (1995), received the Zinaida Lazda Award (1994), the Baltic Assembly Award (1995) and the Spidola Award (2000). In 2009, Bērziņš received the Days of Poetry Prize for his poetry translations. The same year, he was awarded the annual Literature Prize for his collection of poems entitled Saruna ar pastnieku (A Conversation with a Postman).