Henriikka Tavi wins the Dancing Bear Poetry Prize

1 March 2012 | In the news

Henriikka Tavi. Photo: Heini Lehväslaiho

The Dancing Bear Poetry Prize, worth €3,500, is awarded annually by the Finnish Broadcasting Company to a book of poetry published the previous year. The prize has been awarded since 1994.

This year’s winner – announced on 27 February – was Henriikka Tavi for her new collection, Toivo (‘Hope’, Teos;  see the selection of her poems, translated by David Hackston, we published in December, as well as the introduction by Mervi Kantokorpi).

According to the jury, Tavi’s Toivo, reflecting and contemplating sorrow and loss with its childlike imagery of lullabies and butterflies, creates a feeling of togetherness we all need.

The winner was selected by a jury of two journalists, Tarleena Sammalkorpi and Marit Lindqvist and the poet Ilpo Tiihonen. The other shortlisted poets were Kristian Blomberg, Suvi Valli, Markku Into, Harry Salmenniemi and Wava Stürmer.

In addition to the Dancing Bear Poetry Prize, the Finnish Broadcasting Company also awards a prize for the best poetry translation; this year it went to poet Caj Westerberg for his excellent poetry translations from the past two decades of the Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer.

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