Visby, Stockholm, Tallinn

Fredag, 2 September 2011 08:26


Landing in Visby on Sunday was like landing into paradise. Or at least close to it. We were not the only guests in the Baltic Centre for Writers and Translators, and among the other guests there were 7 poets from China. It turned out they are not only poets, but great cooks as well! And it is always so welcoming to come into a place where people are waiting for you and have been preparing for your arrival.

Our group had grown bigger on the road, as Swedish-Latvian poet and translator Juris Kronbergs joined us for our readings in Sweden to be the host of the evening and to read the translations into Swedish. The Visby reading was in Almedalsbiblioteken, an amazingly beautiful building by the sea with big glass windows. Even the weather was on our side, as we got a rainbow as our background. All in all, our stay in Visby in the Baltic Centre for Writers and Translators was wonderful. Thanks to everyone who made it happen: our Chinese friends, Dagmar, Tobias, people from Almedalsbiblioteken, Patrik and of course Lena Pasternak!

In Stockholm we got the chance to visit the Estonian Institute, which is situated in a house full of all things Estonian. I warmly recommend their Estonian restaurant in Wallingegatan 32, the food there is really good, as our group now knows from experience. In the evening we performed in Finlandsinstitutet, opening its new season after the summer break. It was nice to meet my colleagues and their new director Anders Eriksson, who has recently started his work in the institute. Livonian language is a rare treat for people in Sweden, and so Valts gave an interview to the Swedish television's Finnish-language news. You can see it in

It was sad to say goodbye to Juris, but on Wednesday morning we had to leave Sweden behind and head to Tallinn. There we performed upstairs: namely the Writer's Union's hall is just above the Finnish Institute's rooms. We were happy to have the translator Liivia Viitol to read the translations, she is a joy to listen to. Warm thanks go to Anu and Anna for the stylish decorations, to Viia for the delicious snacks and well-chosen wine that we had after the reading and of course to our director Riitta for making all of this possible. Me and Guntars are already hatching plans for next year's Poetry Ride and in Tallinn we met some possible future partners, but more about that later...

After some bouncing on hotel room doors in the morning we got all our poets in the bus and are heading to Latvia. It is so nice to be in our own bus with our Poetry Bus Driver Tonu! He has been a part of our crew from the beginning and is an integral part of Poetry Ride. Having a bus full of people who have a creative attitude to time can sometimes be challenging for someone who has a time control on his bus monitoring how long he has been driving, but Tonu is a good sport.

On Thursday evening we should be in Liepaja, and perform there on Friday. I can't wait to see the town, as I have heard so much about its beauty. So I'm happy we have all day tomorrow to see it!


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My name is Jenni Kallionsivu and I’m a devoted Poetry Rider! Which means that I make a festival called Poetry Ride happen together with my Latvian colleague, poet and translator Guntars Godinš and several other fantastic people. I work in the Finnish Institute in Estonia helping people to network and organising all kinds of interesting events.  Living a multilingual life as a Finn living in Estonia and blogging in English keeps my brain healthy and fit. So a multilingual poetry festival is a great way to celebrate the beauty of languages and honor the art of translating, and that is what this blog is about. You can write to me at

The Poetry Ride project has received funding through the module Production-based activities.