Photo by Kaspars Murelis
Poet and translator Ingmāra Balode was born in 1981 and graduated from the Riga College for Applied Art and the Latvian Academy of Culture. Balode worked as a literary editor for the Web portal ¼ Satori (www.satori.lv), where she regularly published her own poetry and her translations of other poets’ works. She also wrote for the contemporary art centre kim?
Balode’s poems, stories, and articles first appeared in the Latvian cultural press in the mid-1990s. Her first volume of poetry, Ledenes, ar kurām var sagriezt mēli (Hard Candy that Can Cut Your Tongue), was published in 2007. Balode’s poetry has been translated into the English, Lithuanian, Ukrainian, Polish, and Czech.
Balode translates fiction mostly from the Polish and English, and has translated poetry from the Czech, Slovakian, and Russian. To date, her most important published translations have been the Polish author Dorota Masłowska’s novel Wojna polsko-ruska pod flagą biało-czerwoną (English title: Snow White and Russian Red) (2007) and Hanna Krall’s novel Zdążyć przed Panem Bogiem (English title: Shielding the Flame) (2005), as well as her translations of the poetry of Adam Zagajewski and E. E. Cummings, which have appeared in the cultural press.
In addition to her work as an editor and translator, Balode has also hosted the weekly poetry program Bronhīts on Radio Naba. In 2004 and 2005, she helped to organize the Annual Prose Readings. Balode is a member of the Latvian Writers Union and has participated in various international literary events, including the First World Congress of Translators of Polish Literature, in 2005, and the Prague International Poetry Festival, in 2007. In 2010, she was awarded the Prize for Poetry Translation by the literary magazine Latvju Teksti (Latvian Writings) for her translation of selected poems by the Polish poet Adam Zagajewski and compiling them in the book In the Alien Beauty.