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Tomas Venclova
Venclova in Warsaw, 20 March 2007
Venclova in Warsaw, 20 March 2007
Born (1937-09-11) 11 September 1937 (age 84)
Klaipėda, Lithuania
Occupationphilologist, essayist, writer, poet
NationalityLithuanian
CitizenshipLithuanian
American[citation needed]
Alma materVilnius University
Notable awards
Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas
Order of the Cross of Vytis
Order of Vytautas the Great
Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland
Lithuanian National Prize, Petrarca-Preis, Vilenica International Literary Prize, Doctor Honoris Causa of Vilnius University

Tomas Venclova (born 11 September 1937) is a Lithuanian poet, prose writer, scholar, philologist and translator of literature. He is one of the five founding members of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group. In 1977, following his dissident activities, he was forced to emigrate and was deprived of his Soviet citizenship. Since 1980, he has taught Russian and Polish literature at Yale University. Considered a major figure in world literature, he has received many awards, including the Prize of Two Nations (received jointly with Czesław Miłosz), and The Person of Tolerance of the Year Award from the Sugihara Foundation, among other honors.

Life

Tomas Venclova was born in Klaipėda in 1937. His father, Antanas, was a poet and Soviet politician. Tomas was educated at Vilnius University. He was one of the five founding members of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group, and took part in Lithuanian and Russian dissident movements.[1] He became friends with poets Anna Akhmatova and Boris Pasternak, as well as Natalya Gorbanevskaya and Joseph Brodsky. In Vilnius, he translated Baudelaire, T.S. Eliot, W.H. Auden, Robert Frost, Osip Mandelstam, Anna Akhmatova, Boris Pasternak, and other authors into Lithuanian. In Lithuania he was forbidden to publish his own work, except in samizdat, although one volume appeared in 1972, entitled A Sign of Speech. In 1977, following his dissident activities, he was forced to emigrate.[1]

He was invited by Czesław Miłosz to teach at the University of California at Berkeley.[2] He did not return to Lithuania until its independence in 1991. Since 1980, he has taught Russian and Polish literature at Yale University.[2]

He has published over twenty books including volumes of poetry, literary criticism, political commentary, literary biography, translation and books on Vilnius. His work has been translated into many languages including by Czesław Miłosz into Polish, and by Joseph Brodsky into Russian. He is active in the contemporary cultural life of Lithuania, and is one of its most well-respected figures.[1]

He lives in New Haven (Connecticut, United States), in the past also temporarily in Vilnius and Kraków.

Selected honors and awards

Selected bibliography

Books written in Lithuanian

Books written in Russian

Books written in English

Books in English translation

Books in German translation

Books in Russian translation

Books in Swedish translation

Books in Polish translation

Books in Hungarian Translation

Books in Finnish translation

Books in Italian translation

Books in Chinese translation

Books in Portuguese translation

Books in Slovenian translation

Books in Albanian translation

References

  1. ^ a b c "Venclova becomes honorary citizen of Vilnius". media.efhr.eu. 3 April 2013. Retrieved 1 August 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Berliner Künstlerprogramm | Biography: Venclova, Tomas". Berliner-kuenstlerprogramm.de. Retrieved 1 August 2015.