Gintaras Grajauskas, the initiator of this officially non-official gathering of poets, which takes place in the former defensive bunkers at the approaches of the so-called Black stronghold near the sea, talks about the event:
How did you come up with the idea to organize one more gathering of poets if there already exist a lot of poetry events? Why near the sea? Why such a military place has been chosen? And the most important question – why in summer, such an ungrateful season?
I even do not know. Maybe we have a secret hope to privatize a piece of the beach? Actually the end of summer is the best time and place for poetry. In August even the most boring bookkeeper becomes completely unpredictable and deep in his heart tends to leave with a group of gypsies. We are not exactly gypsies, but we can help in a misfortune. We can help every bookkeeper. And with great pleasure.
Why have you called it “the Bridgehead”?
Please see the Dictionary of International Words.
Does the organizing committee consist only of you alone?
Rimantas Kmita, Mindaugas Valiukas, me and a lot of helpers – from the sphere of literary as well as from completely different spheres.
What about financial and other supporters? Where do you get money from and how much?
We get money only from the local government of Klaipėda - quite a symbolic sum of money. We get various benefits in kind from Joint Stock Company “Informacijos parkas”, Coast Regional Park, resort “Žuvedra”, Klaipėdas Ship Repair Company, Lithuanian Navy, publishing-house “Druska”, daily newspaper “Klaipėda”, television “Balticum”, brewery “Habilitas”. Rosenkreutzers provide us with some support as well. Thank all.
What are your criteria to invite poets?
I invite them subjectively – I invite those who look good and those who, as I imagine, can become good. Personal recommendations of the “bridgeheaders” also have their influence. Because the Bridgehead is a lodge (please see the end of the 5th answer).
What are the task and obligation of this poets gathering?
No obligations and a lot of tasks. One of the most important tasks is to gather all the trash.
Did you have an intention to organize à la Druskininkai Poetic Autumn in Klaipėda as well, or did you want to make completely your own version?
Completely separated, independent and autonomic. The number of large international structures will be increasing in the future; therefore it would not be wise to duplicate anything. But many people will long for such intimate meetings and sittings with nice people… I am a smart strategist, as you can see.
What is the main accent of the Bridgehead? What are its features that are to be continued?
Almost all the bridgeheaders are still alive, but the dead also remain them as well, for example, like Chaplain Jurgis Kunčinas. This is continuity. And we put accent in the place, personally.
It seems that every year the poets eat military puree. Which unit and what kind of puree does it make?
I have already mentioned that the Lithuanian Navy. Its Gunner is easier to communicate and arrange with than many “art” persons. If Gunner has said something – it means you can be sure… The understanding of honour is still strong in military Lithuanian structures. By the way, Gunners second name is Daukantas. One more continuity?..
Interviewed by Ričardas Šileika