Tartu has selected the Kentucky writer Ron Whitehead as the next writer-in-residence of Tartu City of Literature Residency Program
In April and May Tartu will host the fourth writer-in-residence of the City of Literature international residency program, the poet, writer, editor, publisher, scholar, professor and activist Ron Whitehead from USA. As poet and writer Whitehead is the recipient of numerous state, national, and international awards and prizes including The All Kentucky Poetry Prize, The Yeats Club of Oxford’s Prize for Poetry, and many others. In 2006 Dr. John Rocco (NYC) nominated Ron for The Nobel Prize in Literature. He is the author of 30 books and 40 albums and his work has been translated into nearly 20 languages. Whitehead has edited and published the works of such luminaries as His Holiness The Dalai Lama, President Jimmy Carter, Hunter S. Thompson, Thomas Merton, Jack Kerouac, Seamus Heaney, Wendell Berry, John Updike, Andy Warhol, Yoko Ono, BONO, Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, Gregory Corso, Herbert Huncke, Diane di Prima, Douglas Brinkley, Rita Dove, Robert Hunter, Amiri Baraka, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and hundreds more.
„Whitehead is a renown countercultural world citizen whose works have received recognition from the leading authors,“ said Berk Vaher, a member of the committee and the chairman of the Tartu Department of the Estonian Writers Union „The fact that he wishes to connect his creative plans with Tartu this spring is definitely a sign of our growing international reputation as a city of literature and culture.“
The residency program, open to all writers and translators (translating from Estonian to other languages) from across the world, is part of the activity plan of Tartu as UNESCO City of Literature and has been inspired by our partners in the network, especially Prague and Kraków where such progmmes have been succesfully implemented. The 2019 spring call for applications was announced in February and the committee was once again delighted by the diversity and commitment of the applicants: there were 23 candidates althogether from Australia, Asia, Africa, Europe, and U.S. The applications were evaluated by a committee of four: Berk Vaher (Estonian Writers Union), Krista Ojasaar (Estonian Literary Museum), Janika Kronberg (Karl Ristikivi Society), and Marja Unt (Estonian Literary Society/Tartu City of Literature Office).
The residency program was first announced in 2017 and since then Tartu has already hosted three writers-in-residence: Andrej Tomažin from Slovenia, Darran Anderson from Ireland, and Gabi Csutak from Hungary.
Estonian Literary Society / Tartu City of Literature Office