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Anatomijas vārsmas

From May 17 to September 28, the RSU Anatomy Museum is hosting a poetic intervention by poet Ivars Šteinbergs titled "Anatomical Verses."

“Anatomical verses” is a non-linear set of poems inspired by the Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU) Anatomy Museum. The intervention includes 28 poems, some of which have been integrated into the museum’s exhibition, while the rest are printed in a small book that accompanies the exhibition. Visitors will be provided with a map to help them navigate the exhibition, highlighting the poems that have been integrated, sometimes openly and sometimes in a more hidden manner.

'Before I started working on it, I thought I would be telling a story of mortality. However, it turned out to be a story about people’s lives, real and imagined, about heart-warming, tragic, funny lives and lives filled with a passionate pursuit of values. About individuals who have either created, collected, and preserved specimens, or, quite literally – most often unknowingly – donated their organs and body parts so that they may continue to contribute to education even after death.

The goal of these poems is to communicate the significance of medical peculiarities and the history of science, while also exploring bodily diversity. Diversity – one of the key values of the museum – is deliberately represented in the formal and intonational variety of these poems; it was a matter of principle to select a style that best conveyed the specific narrative of the subject or object of each poem. The result is a set of poems rooted in research and created as autonomous aesthetic events that acquire new dimensions as they become incorporated into the museum display. I hope that alongside my poems, the valuable exhibits in the museum – those that have changed my life – only deepen in meaning,' explains Ivars Šteinbergs.

The "Anatomical Verses" at the RSU Anatomy Museum will be available for viewing until September 28.

Listen to "Anatomical Verses" on Spotify:

Estere Betija Grāvere and Anna Priede are the authors of the exhibition’s design. The poems were translated into English by Kintija Rogers. The event is supported by the State Culture Capital Foundation and Rīga Stradiņš University.

Ivars Šteinbergs is a Latvian poet, critic, literature expert, and translator of poetry. His most recent collection of poems is The ABC Book (Ābece) (by the publisher Valters Dakša). The author received the Annual Latvian Literary Award for the best poetry (2023) for his second collection of poems Youth (Jaunība) (Neputns, 2022). In 2024, he was awarded the Normunds Naumanis Annual Art Critics Award. He is also the editor of the literary magazine Current (Strāva), has translated poems of Louise Glück, Robert Bly, Sylvia Plath, Anna Sexton, Jan Wagner and others. Šteinbergs’ poems have been translated into English, Finnish, Estonian, Lithuanian and Ukrainian.


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