(1961-2006) was a Georgian poet, prose writer and musician, later known by his pen name ‘Mepe’ (‘The King’). Charkviani was born into an élite family in Tbilisi. His father Gela Charkviani, a celebrated journalist and diplomat, was Georgia’s ambassador to the United Kingdom, while the author’s grandfather Kandid Charkviani was the First Secretary General of the Central Committee of the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic. Irakli graduated from the Department of Western European and American Literature of Tbilisi State University; he also attended an Oxford Summer Course in World Literature. But fame came at the beginning of 90s with his music, when the young performer captured Georgian audiences with utterly new ideas in music and poetry. He became one of the founders of an art union ‘Reactive Club’, later named ‘The Poets’ Order’, confronting all the common norms and clichés and thus becoming a brand-new, revolutionary event in Georgia. His eccentric image and poetry, mixed with alternative rock, electronic music and hip-hop, proved to have a significant influence on Georgian alternative music in the 1990s. Charkviani's album Apren (You are Going Crazy) in 1997, followed by the single Sakartvelo (Georgia) in 1999, took him to a higher level of fame, making him an idol for thousands of Georgians. Along with his musical career his verses and short stories were published in periodicals. In the 2000s Irakli presented his fans with several significant albums: he then chose the pseudonym ‘Mepe’. Irakli Charkviani was found dead on February 24th 2006. After the musician’s death, interest in his literary legacy is increasing daily, and his autobiographical novel, A Calm Swim, is a bestseller in Georgia. Charkviani’s poems have been published in: Anthology of Georgian Poetry (6 poets) - Arc Publications 2016, UK; Anthology of Georgian Poetry through the ages: Ich aber will dem Kaukasos zu… - Pop Verlag 2015, Germany.
- Personal Letters, Intelekti Publishing, 2015
- A Calm Swim, Logos Press 2006, Intelekti Publishing, 2014
- Author’s Columns Interviews, Intelekti Publishing, 2011
- Old Toys, Siesta Publishing House, 2009,2012
- Mepe Irakli’s Poetry, Siesta Publishing House, 2008,2011
LITERARY PRIZES AND AWARDS
- BBC literary marathon ‘Our Book’ (Georgian version) competition winner in 2014
- Shota Rustaveli Prize 2013 (posthumously) for a significant contribution to the development of contemporary Georgian culture
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