Since 2004, Ukraine has been locked in a struggle with Russia to maintain autonomy—be it via puppet government officials, propaganda, or bloodshed.
To date, more than 9,000 Ukrainian soldiers and civilians have died defending their right to be independent.
As a Lithuanian-American with some Ukrainian roots, I am deeply disturbed as I watch this series of events unfold. My family members were closely tied to tragedies that resulted from the post-WWII annexation of the Baltic states by the Soviet Union, and my hope is that there will be peace and stability on the region soon. Ukraine deserves to remain free and independent—to start anew as part of the EU, should they choose—and move forward into a prosperous future.
The goal of this book is to bring further awareness to the Ukrainian conflict by using the mythology of Baltic female snipers and the internal and external struggles they face as they possibly commit to a sense of duty or concede to a more compassionate place within. As they fictitiously contemplate or complete acts against Russian aggressors, it brings to light the role of precision by way of a sniper’s scope: what is blurred or clear in or outside the range of a target, or, what is narrow-minded, calculating, and fixated? Even broader: how do we, as human beings, want to live: peacefully, globally, sustainably OR power-mad, warring, isolationist, and all-consuming?
Copyright – Lina ramona Vitkauskas (Standard Copyright License)
Edition – 2nd Edition
Publisher – White Hole Press
Published – 2016
Language – English, Lithuanian
Pages – 48
Binding – Perfect-bound
Paperback, Full color
Dimensions (inches) – 6 wide x 9 tall
I’ve been tirelessly working on a new poetry manuscript called White Stockings for the last year (since the unrest erupted in Ukraine). As a Lithuanian-American, I strongly support Ukraine’s right to independence. I stand with many in the Baltic countries who are banning together to back the Ukrainian people. My contribution is small, it is an artistic/poetic examination of Russia’s tendency to eye, spy, and dominate her neighbors. This is a teaser, a first, short cinepoem I produced myself. More to come…
Sheep year is time to heal after the chaos of 2014’s Horse year. What is of value now is intimacy, family and close friendships. We can be more caring, kind and sensitive with each other. Develop a gentle heart, open to love and acceptance on all levels. Another theme of Sheep year is to express your creative side. Now is the time for art, creativity and cultivation of beauty. If you ever wanted to explore your creative side, this is your year. Do not give up, be pessimistic or become discouraged because Sheep can only move forward! This animal is unable to move backwards or sideways. Sheep year is most fortunate for Sheep, and for Sheep’s most compatible signs Rabbit, Horse and Pig. Sheep correlates to the Western sign of Cancer.
“The universe is an infinite sphere, the center is everywhere and the circumference is nowhere.”
Now this quiet seems quiet.
Now these pallid proclivities.
Now I swallow hard behind
the chickadee tree, institutional glass,
ugly starfruits. Now little Poetry Priest
gets up. Now thick, round rainmaker
tightens laces woven through bootholes.
Now seahorses swallowing my toes.
Now here’s your big brash girl—
with a spadix in her teeth, wanting so much.
Okiagari-koboshi, “the getting-up little priest” is a traditional Japanese doll. The toy is made from papier-mâché and is designed so that its weight causes it to return to an upright position if it is knocked over. Okiagari-koboshi is considered a good-luck charm and a symbol of perseverance and resilience.
6 – Do you have any theoretical concerns behind your writing? What kinds of questions are you trying to answer with your work? What do you even think the current questions are?
Russian sociolinguist Bakhtin wrote of heteroglossia, the idea of language hierarchy or conflict within the mind and how it influences language decisions. This meant quite a large deal to me having spoken Lithuanian primarily as a child, and then English, and then studying Spanish. Soon, there was a distinct “language straddling” going on within me and I became rather entertained by the notion of being able to switch between and/or amalgamate words, if necessary. I believe this theory plays a large role in my loose method of writing. It at least fuels the playfulness in my work. Montaigne wrote of the meaning of “to essay” and referred to the Latin translation “to test” or “to try”. Early in my master’s study, I was quite drawn to this notion and still view the process through this lens.