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Tartu’s new City Writer Laureate is Carolina Pihelgas


15 January / On 15 January, Carolina Pihelgas, poet, translator, and editor of literary magazine Värske Rõhk (Fresh Emphasis), was named Tartu’s new City Writer Laureate.

‘Tartu supports its creative people, and the grant provides the writer with an excellent opportunity to dedicate themselves even further to their creative activities. The selection of a City Writer Laureate is also one of Tartu’s activities as a member of UNESCO’s international City of Literature programme', said Tartu Major Urmas Klaas.

Carolina Pihelgas, the new City Writer Laureate, said that she is very happy about the grant. ‘To me, Tartu has always been a literary city, and my own personal growth as a writer has been closely associated with the city. This year, in addition to writing, I will also attempt to bring literature to the streets, headphones, parks and strolls around the city,’ said Pihelgas.

A total of eight applications were submitted for the grant, which is awarded in cooperation between the City of Tartu and the Tartu Cultural Endowment Foundation. The City Writer Laureate was chosen from among the applicants by an expert committee, which included representatives from the Tartu Chapter of the Writers' Union, the Estonian Literary Museum, University of Tartu Department of Literature and Theatre Studies, the Oskar Luts Tartu City Library, the Tartu Cultural Endowment Foundation, and the City Government.

The one-year Tartu City Writer Laureate Grant is awarded to a writer engaged in fiction or non-fiction, who stimulates literary life in Tartu and helps to shape the city’s reputation as an internationally recognised, literature-friendly city. To apply for the Grant, the applicant had to submit his or her vision for the role of Tartu City Writer Laureate to the Tartu Cultural Endowment Foundation, which the applicant must be ready to fulfil if he or she is awarded the grant, along with an overview of his or creative activities thus far and activities which the applicant plans to bring to life in 2020.

The amount of the grant is twice the minimum wage for the previous year. In 2020 the grant amount is EUR 12,960, paid out in monthly instalments of EUR 1080.

The City Writer Laureate Grant is being awarded by the City of Tartu for the fourth year. In 2017, the title of City Writer Laureate was held by Kristiina Ehin, in 2018 by Mika Keränen, and last year by Vahur Afanasjev

Last changed 15.01.2020