Over 40 years
at the cutting edge
of poetry publishing

Orbita (Latvia)

From left to right: Artūrs Punte, Semyon Khanin, Sergej Timofejev, Vladimir Svetlov
From left to right: Artūrs Punte, Semyon Khanin, Sergej Timofejev, Vladimir Svetlov

Orbita is a creative collective / group of Latvian poets writing in Russian whose works are dedicated to dialogue between various creative genres (literature, music, video, photography, VJ, web, etc.) and cultures. The collective was founded 1999 in Riga. Since that time Orbita has published a number of eponymously-titled almanacs in which literary works appear side by side with works of visual art (photography, graphic work, painting). Additionally, Orbita has organized five "Word in Motion" festivals of poetry, video and multi-media art in Latvia (in 2001, 2003, 2007, 2009 and 2011); issued two poetry CDs and a collection of poetry videos; created several multi-media poetry installations for public exhibition; produced a number of bilingual (Russian-Latvian) poetry collections and publications; issued an anthology of contemporary Russian poetry in Latvia; and published a number of other works.

Orbita actively participates in Latvian and international cultural life. Members of the group have been published in many European countries and are frequently invited to literary and artistic festivals in Germany, Russia, Italy, Finland, Spain, Croatia, Estonia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Switzerland and Sweden. In 2015 their installation Two sonnets from Laputa was included in the Venice Biennial Collateral events programme.

In November 2016 the ORBITA poets went on a 10-day tour in the USA, performing in New York, Washington, Philadelphia and Yale to present their poetry collection Hit Parade, published in the USA by Ugly Duckling Presse. Poems by Orbita poets have appeared, or are forthcoming, in the magazines Common Knowledge, World Literature Today, Poem and Supplement.

In Latvia, Orbita's achievements have been recognized with the Annual Literary Prize of the Union of Latvian Writers, the Annual Prize for the best photography album and the best photography exhibit, as well as a number of prizes for book design, poetry video and various other literary and artistic awards.

Since its inception, Orbita has appeared in literary and multimedia performances in conjunction with invited musicians and video-artists. During recent years the artistic development of the group has also gone in the direction of synergy of poetry and the visual arts, technologies, perception of poetry, sound and performance art.