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Jūratė Sučylaitė

 

Jūratė Sučylaitė

Sučylaitė Jūratė, poetess, prose writer, essayist.
Born on August 13, 1959 in Panevėžys.
Graduated from Kaunas Medical Institute in 1985; now she works as a medic at Kaunas Mental Hospital.

Autobiography:
My family lived in the green street of Petras Cvirka (now – St Zita). My mother, a former state prisoner and litterateur, wrote poems and articles for the town newspaper. Our poor home, where water in buckets used to freeze in winter was a well-liked place for the town litterateurs and actors. But my mother for a pretty short time could feel herself who she really was – a poetess and a cultural worker. The KGB quite shortly reminded her about her past. Mother was forced to reject a director office of the town Culture House, later – an office of Lietkoopsąjunga club manager. The town litterateurs, who from the beginning organized meetings in our poor tenemental house at P. Cvirka street, later – in a new apartment at Algirdas street, were forced to decline the tradition to visit in a house of the "national enemy". In spite of the bans, we both were not totally isolated. A poetess Elena Mezginatė remained especially true to our home; other litterateurs also visited us rarely.
I believed in my teachers, who taught me to love the Soviet Motherland, I believed that the communist ideology seeks after justice, humanistic values. I also believed in my mother pain. I believed in hearsays of the severe post-war history as well as in my feelings. With these opposites of life and history I faced in my early teens, I could not either perceive or explain them. Contemporaries did not care about it, adults were afraid to say the truth. When I was twelve, I lost my grandmother, who raised me and till now was an example of a man, always preserving hope. I felt alone under the painful, inapprehensible, unbearable historical load.
I finished the 2nd Secondary School of Panevėžys (now, it is a gymnasium of V. Landsbergis-Žemkalnis). Attending school I participated in pupils literary competitions and in 1976 I became a laureate of the prose competition. My first literary publications had been published in the republic press also in 1976.
I appreciated the literary life in school: evenings, poetry performances, trips to writers native lands. My choice was a surprise for everyone: I chose medicine instead of the Lithuanian language and literature. I was going to be a medic psychiatrist. A trail of the post-war history, having touched my mother directly, injured me too. I wanted to help people spiritually, as well as to find strength for myself in order to live in this injuring world. I became a psychiatrist, but in the Medical Institute there was neither humanitarian environment, nor a source of strength what could be used in healing of suffering souls.
Creation and interest in psychology helped me to live. I worked in mental hospitals, as a journalist, was an editor of weekly Lituanica. I never pulled off totally from the medical work, though there were periods, when I worked part-time. The year 1998 changed my life. I won a scholarship of ARTSLINK and left for the USA, where I participated in a meeting of the Eastern and Central Europe artists and spent a month in the programme of Iowa University writers. Being there, I found information about National Association of Poetry Therapy of the USA and became its member. I found a way, which could help people to get out from sorrow, to develop spiritually, in which all my experiences supplement each other.
I work much with groups of the poetry therapy, I often go to various conferences, where I read lectures about my own experience, I also take part in meetings held in libraries to share my own experience as a writer and as a medic. I studied education at Kaunas University of Technology (12 credits), in summer I lecture a course for teachers The creative writing for harmonious development of an individual at the APPLE course.


Bibliography:
Tebūnie žmogus: essay. - Vilnius: Vyturys, 1990.
Žarijų duobė: poems. - Kaunas: Vaidoto Oškinio leidykla, 1992.
Šešėlių sparnai: poems. - Kaunas: Vaidoto Oškinio leidykla, 1994.
Po pelenų dangum: poems. - Kaunas: Naujasis lankas, 1996.
Sumaištis: long short story. - Kaunas: Naujasis lankas, 1998.
Kelias į pilnatį: short stories. - Kaunas: Naujasis lankas, 1998.
Visada dviese: essay. - Kaunas: Santara, 1998.
Užkalbėjimas gyventi: poems. - Kaunas: Naujasis lankas, 2000.
Susitikimai su ragana: novel. - Kaunas: Naujasis lankas, 2002.
Atsilaikymas: poems. - Klaipėda: Druka, 2008.

Scholarships:
1997-1998 The Scholarship for Writers Work  (Lithuanian Ministry of Culture).
1999-2000 The Scholarship for Writers Work  (Lithuanian Ministry of Culture).
1998 – Artslink Scholarship for Artists from East and Central Europe.
Residencies Program in USA.
2000 – Artslink  Scholarship for Artists from East and Central Europe. Artslink Independent Project. (Award for Participating in the Conference for Poetry Therapy in New Mexico, USA).
2001 British Council Award for Pioneering in Poetry Therapy in Lithuania and for Participating in LAPIDUS (Literary Arts in Personal Development) Conference in Bretton Hall, Yorkshyre, and in Glasgow.
2004 Joy Seeds scholarship for participating in NAPT conference in Costa Mesa, California.

Awards:
Honorary Fellow in Writing by the University of Iowa, 1998
Arthur Lerner Pioneer Award for courage, vision and fight bringing poetry therapy to Lithuania and East Europe (National Association for Poetry Therapy, 2004).


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