3 x Runeberg: poet, cake & prize

5 February 2014 | This 'n' that

J.L. Runeberg. Painting by Albert Edelfelt. 1893. WIkipedia

J.L. Runeberg. Painting by Albert Edelfelt, 1893. WIkipedia

Today, the fifth of February, marks the birthday of the poet J.L. Runeberg (1804–1877), writer, among other things, of the words of Finnish national anthem.

Runeberg’s birthday is celebrated among the literary community by the award of the Runeberg Prize for fiction; the winner is announced in Runeberg’s house, in the town of Borgå/Porvoo.

Runeberg's favourite. Photo: Ville Koistinen

Runeberg’s favourite. Photo: Ville Koistinen

Mrs Runeberg, a mother of seven and also a writer, is said to have baked ‘Runeberg’s cakes’ for her husband, and these cakes are still sold on 5 February. Read more – and even find a recipe for them – by clicking our story Let us eat cake!

The Runeberg Prize 2014, worth €10,000, went to Hannu Raittila and his novel Terminaali (‘Terminal’, Siltala).

Hannu Raittila. Photo: Laura Malmivaara

Hannu Raittila. Photo: Laura Malmivaara

According to the members of the prize jury – the literary scholar Rita Paqvalen, the author Sari Peltoniemi and the critic and writer Merja Leppälahti – they were unanimous in their decision; however, the winner of the 2013 Finlandia Prize for Fiction, Jokapäiväinen elämämme (‘Our everyday lives’) by Riikka Pelo, was also seriously considered.

Read more about the 2014 Runeberg shortlist In the news.

Tags: , ,