Jaan Kaplinski (born 22 January 1941 in Tartu) is an Estonian poet, philosopher, and culture critic. Kaplinski is known for his independent mind, focus on global issues and support for left-wing/liberal thinking. He has been influenced by Eastern philosophical schools (taoism and especially buddhism). Kaplinski studied Romance language and linguistics at Tartu University, graduating as a French philologist in 1964, and has worked as a translator, editor, and sociologist, and ecologist at the Tallinn Botanic Garden. He has been named as a contender for the Nobel Prize in Literature.