Jaan Kaplinski

Jaan Kaplinski
Jaan Kaplinski (Photo: Peeter Langovits)
See Jaan Kaplinski's website for further information about the writer's life and work. Visit also the Estonian Literature Information Centre.

Jaan Kaplinski (1941), writer and translator, is the only living Estonian poet whose works have gained wide international reputation. His mother was Estonian, his Polish father disappeared in the Gulag archipelago during the war. Kaplinski studied linguistics in Tartu University and wrote his first romantic poems (under the influence of Lermontov and Shelley) as a schoolboy. He has worked as a researcher in linguistics, a sociologist, an ecologist and has translated poetry from French, English, Spanish, Chinese and Swedish into Estonian. He has published several books of poetry and essays in Estonian, Finnish and English and his works have been translated also into Norwegian, Swedish, Dutch, Hungarian, Icelandic, Japanese, Latvian, Russian and Czech. Since 1965 he has published altogether 14 collections of poems, five collections of essays, and some books of prose. Kaplinski has been awarded several national and international prizes, the most recent ones being that of the Estonian Cultural Endowment - the highest annual award of the Estonian Cultural Endowment for his novel Eye. Hector (2000), a book of essays, Spring on Two Coasts, or a Sentimental Journey to America (2000), and a collection of poetry, Written (2000).

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