Born in 1960 in Riga, poet Liana Langa (real name Liāna Bokša) studied in Biruta Delles’ painting studio, and the Philology Department of the Latvian State University (1979-81). She has also worked as a restaurateur in the Crimea and as a teacher in Riga. Published since 1988, she spent the first part of 2000 in the USA as a student at the New School College in New York, where she studied philosophy and 20th century literature. Langa has worked for the international film forum Arsenal and as a translator from Russian and English. She was a consultant for the project Literature Express/Europe 2000 and had worked in the international relations and advertising bureau Idea Media. Currently, Langa is the manager of the Publishing House Apostrofs and a member of the editorial team of the literary magazine Latvju Teksti (Latvian Writings).
Langa’s poetry jars against previous post-war Latvian poetry in its absence of naivete and lack of use of the idyllic or a beautiful, lofty idealization of humanity. It is opposed to pathos overall. However this does not mean that Langa goes against the values of classical tradition. The magnetism of Langa’s poetry is created through her ability to balance grotesque, ugly, even disharmonious elements in a poem, while writing with a reserved yet palpable love and integrity that includes no sentimental neurasthenia. Langa loves life and the times, managing naturally to veer away from forced lyricism. Her poetry has an impetus reached through observations of everyday situations, or may be created through meditative observations. In scope, she encompasses various epochs and refers to the writings of diverse national poets.
In 2010, her book of poems The Deadly Nightshades was published featuring Langa’s poems written between 2006 and 2010. The same year, the audio book I Suddenly Woke Up From a Deep Slumber was released. There, the author reads her poems from the volumes Blow the Trumpet, Scorpion! (2001), The Diary of Aerials (2006) and The Deadly Nightshades (2010).
Liana Langa received the Poetry Day Award (1998 and 2006) and the Annual Award in Literature (2001).