Maira Asare (1960)

Photo by Jānis Buls /Diena/


Poet Maira Asare was born in Sigulda in 1960. She has studied medicine at the Riga Medical Institute (1978-1981) and journalism at the State University of Latvia (1988-1990). Maira Asare started her career as a personal assistant at the law firm Medvecka, Ramiņa& Arājs (1992-1999) and later worked at the Ventspils Culture Centre (2008-2009) and the Ventspils City Library (since 2010). Maira Asare has served a term in prison (2008-2009) for drug offences and her first work of prose, A Female Joint, has been inspired by this experience. The book offers an insight into the everyday life of women behind bars; it tells the story of people who, for one reason or another, have fallen through the gaps of society. The novel is akin to a photograph, an instantaneous documentation of the prison reality, the events happening there and peoples populating it; the photograph that enables the reader to have a first-hand experience of the place. In cooperation with the poet and translator Sergejs Moreino, Asare wrote The Cold Flame on Hansa, a book of poems in a bilingual Latvian-Russian edition.
Maira Asare has received the Days of Poetry Award for her book of poems He Who Fools Around With a Cuckoo (1995). She also translates poetry and prose from Russian into Latvian. Among other authors, she has translated works by Sergejs Moreino, Sergejs Timofejevs, Alexei Ivlev and Sasha Sokolov.