(Fricis Rokpelnis). Born Sept. 23 (Oct. 6), 1909, in Grobiça, now in Liepāja Raion; died Sept. 15, 1969, in Jurmala. Soviet Latvian writer. Honored Art Worker of the Latvian SSR (1959). Member of the CPSU from 1947.
From 1931 to 1933, Rokpelnis studied at the National University of Riga; he had begun publishing in 1929. He fought in the Great Patriotic War of 1941–15. Together with J. Vanags, Rokpelnis composed the national anthem of the Latvian SSR. He published the poetry collections Sister Weaves a Star on the Banner (1950) and Rye Bread (1959; State Prize of the Latvian SSR, 1960; Russian translation, 1962). He wrote the plays The Light (1945), The Youth of Rainis (1948), and Remember the Green Firs (1966), as well as the screenplay of the film Rainis (with V. Kreps, 1949; State Prize of the USSR, 1950), the libretto of the first Soviet Latvian opera, Ruta (with J. Vanags, 1942), and the opera Toward a New Shore (1954). From 1962 to 1965, Rokpelnis was secretary of the administrative board of the Latvian Cinematographic Workers’ Union. He was a deputy to the second convocation of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. Rokpelnis was awarded five orders.
REFERENCESOcherk istorii latyshskoi sovetskoi literatury. Riga, 1957.
Latvieŝu literatūras vēture, vol. 6. Riga, 1962.
I. V. KLRSHENTALE