The poet, critic and translator Kārlis Vērdiņš was born in 1979 in Riga and graduated in cultural theory from the Latvian Academy of Culture. Vērdiņš has a PhD in Literature from the University of Latvia (2009). Since 2007, he has been working at the Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art of the University of Latvia. Vērdiņš is also a member of the editorial team of the literary magazine Latvju Teksti. For several years he has worked as an editor for the Latvian Encyclopedia.
His book reviews and essays regularly appear in Latvian press. Vērdiņš has translated the works of T. S. Eliot, William Carlos Williams and other modern American poets.
Vērdiņš is often described as one of the most mature and outstanding representatives of the youngest generation of poets. He has been a published poet since 1997 and is the author of three poetry collections – ‘Ledlauži’ (The Icebreakers, 2001), ‘Biezpiens ar krējumu’ (Cottage Cheese with Cream, 2004) and ‘Es’ (Me, 2008).
Vērdiņš’ poetry has been translated into several languages and included in the anthology of young poets from Central and Eastern Europe A Fine Line (Arc Publications, 2004).
In 2001, he received the Diena Culture Award, in 2006, the Copyright Infinity Award and, in 2007, the Olivereto Prize, awarded for his poem Soldiers. Vērdiņš’ is also a laureate of the Poetry Prize 2008 (for the book of poems Me).