Zdanys Receives Grant to Publish Fifth Book of Poems Written in Lithuanian

Jonas Zdanys

News Story: August 12, 2014

Sacred Heart University Professor Jonas Zdanys of Wallingford has received a grant from the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture to complete and publish his fifth volume of poetry written in Lithuanian; it will be his 42nd published book overall. This latest work, entitled Ikaro Prisikelimas, which means ‘the resurrection of Icarus,’ continues the themes he began to explore in his book of prose poems entitled The Kingfisher’s Reign. Zdanys was nominated for the grant by the publisher and received the award after intense competition for support based on his book’s literary and cultural merit. The book is scheduled to be published in September in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, by the Lithuanian Writers Union Publishing House.

“I have been interested in the idea of redemption and resurrection—physical, spiritual, cultural and personal – and I wanted to write these Lithuanian poems to parallel the poems of Kingfisher,” said Zdanys. “The idea of redemption and resurrection may be of particular relevance on a cultural level to the people of Lithuania, who are still moving out of the shadows of five decades of Soviet occupation.”

The poems in Zdanys’ latest work are lyric poems that explore what he calls “epiphanic moments”—moments of personal insight, realization and revelation. These moments are then presented and considered in the poems through various voices and in various settings, though the mythical figure Icarus—and the story and implications of his fall and, according to Zdanys, of his ultimate resurrection—is a principal and foundational presence.

“Poetry is an effort by the poet to consider and present truth,” said Zdanys. “I hope that my readers will find some truths about their own lives and the lives of those around them in those pages.”