Author: Johanna Sillanpää

In other words

21 June 2012 | This 'n' that

Wordworkers meet: the translators' congress in Helsinki, 11–14 June. Photo: Hannele Jyrkkä

From Finnish or Swedish into 32 languages: in mid June FILI (the Finnish Literature Exchange) held the biggest international meeting of translators of Finnish literature of all time.

The congress, entitled Kääntäjän sana/Översättarens ord (Translator’s word) was planned with one eye on the Finnish theme of the 2014 Frankfurt Book Fair.

The former Lisa Hagman School, now the House of Learning, offered the premises for workshops and lectures for 120 professional translators and almost 70 scholars of language and literature.

Participants translating from both Finnish and Finland-Swedish were offered opportunities to meet writers, listen to lectures from experts in language and literature and gain feedback from other active professional readers. More…

And the winner is…?

27 March 2012 | This 'n' that

Playing your cards right: Todd Zuniga talks to Riikka Pulkkinen on 20 March in Helsinki. Photo: courtesy/T. Zuniga

The writer Johanna Sinisalo’s words lash the stage like the tail of Pessi the troll in her best-known novel. The novelist Riikka Pulkkinen bursts into deconstructive dance. The singer Anni Mattila translates the poet Teemu Manninen’s explosive poetic frolics into rhythmic dictations and the Finlandia Prize-winning author Rosa Liksom’s conductor’s glittering moustaches see the audience off on a train journey to Moscow.

On a March evening, a Literary Death Match has begun in the Korjaamo Culture Factory in Helsinki’s old tramsheds. The creation of the American author and journalist Todd Zuniga, the Literary Death Match combines an evening of readings with stand-up comedy as well as the judging familiar from reality TV shows.

‘It all started with me eating sushi with two of my friends and talking about some of the readings we’d been to. We all loved literature and loved to listen to writers reading from their own work. But the audience was always the same circle of people. We wanted to expand it beyond literary circles,’ Zuniga explains. More…