We are happy to introduce the following jury members for Latvia:
Arno Jundze, writer, cultural journalist, literary critic and theorist - President of the jury
Renate Punka, literary translator, managing director of Janis Roze Publishers, president of the Latvian Publishers Association
Kristine Pīkenena, manager of the Jānis Roze Bookstore
Inga Bodnarjuka-Mrazauskas, executive manager of the Latvian literature export platform «Latvian Literature»
Santa Remere, translator, publicist
Arno Jundze (1965) is a Latvian prose writer, cultural journalist, literary critic and theorist. He is host of TV show Grāmatu kods/The Book Code on RigaTV 24, has been a host of 100g of Culture and other TV programmes, and was one of the creators of the programme Melns uz balta/ Black on White, with interviews and video profiles of celebrated Latvian writers for Latvian television (LTV1). Arno Jundze was an editor (2005 – 2020) of the cultural news section for one of the biggest newspapers in Latvia and helps in shaping country's most important art and literature forums and outlets. He was a member of the council at the State Culture Capital Foundation and chairman of the board at its literature department from 2010 until 2012. Currently Jundze is head of the Latvian Writers' Union. Despite being deeply involved in administrative work, he has also written 4 books for children, a collection of stories about paradigm shifts, morality and culture in the Post-Soviet Latvia, and 3 novels. Jundze's works for children have been nominated for the prestigious Jānis Baltvilks Award, and his prose is celebrated and popular with readers across the country. His novels are published in Lithuania and Mexico, but his short stories translated in Lithuanian and English.
Renate Punka wears three hats in her daily professional life. She is managing director of Janis Roze Publishers – one of the oldest and most respectable publishing houses, the home of many established and aspiring writers from Latvia and, mostly, from abroad. Since 2012, Renate Punka has been repeatedly elected as the president of the Latvian Publishers Association (LPA); in this role she actively engages in debates about cultural policy of Latvia and lobbies the interests of book sector, she is also represantive of the LPA to the Federation of European Publishers (FEP) and looks after LPA’s internatinal activites. Renate Punka is also a professionally trained translator and has translated around 50 books of fiction and non-fiction from English and Russian, including EUPL laureate Karen Gillece.
Since starting her career in the book business in 2012, Kristīne Pīkenena has been actively promoting Latvian and international literature. Currently she works as manager of the Jānis Roze Bookstore in Riga, at Kr.Barona street. She has taken part in three ICYB (International Congress of Young Booksellers), that used to gather young at heart booksellers from all around the globe. For more than six years she has been bringing together likeminded readers in the book club “Total Cover” (Totāls vāks), with monthly literary meetings on diverse subjects.
Inga Bodnarjuka–Mrazauskas is the executive manager of the Latvian literature export platform «Latvian Literature», responsible for developing and implementing strategy for promotion of Latvian literature abroad, which includes participation in international book fairs, organizing foreign publisher, media and festival visits, translation workshops, capacity building activities for translators and publishers, culture programs abroad, etc.
Santa Remere is a translator and publicist. She regularly writes literary and art critics for local magazines, specializing mainly in children's culture and feminist art. Occasionally, she works as producer of contemporary theatre performances. She has also been a member of the jury for the International Baltic Sea Region Jānis Baltvilks Prize in Children’s Literature.