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Mutanen, Annala, Kokko, Tervo

Four new titles out from ntamo.

Aeons Swish for Sichuan

I feel humbled and honored to announce that my poem, “Aeons Swish In Edens Way“, originally dedicated for Charles Bernstein and Jörgen Gassilewski and based on our mutual homophonic and other versions of Charles’ poem, “Johnny Cake Hollow” (being thus “a work of linguistic upheavals”, “with immediate ‘content’ that is random, and violent”), has been translated into Chinese by my friend,  Luo Lianggong, and will be included, both in original and in translation, in Our Common Suffering: Anthology of Poets in Memoriam 2008 Sichuan Earthquake, a 250 pages book to be published by a top Chinese publishing house, Shanghai Foreign Languages Education Press, by October 10, for the Frankfurt International Book Fair 2008. My heartfelt thanks for Lianggong for recreating the poem for this purpose of expressing a “minimum of order and rational hope embedded in the seeming chaos”, and a ”glint of hope in the face of the impossible”, with a new dedication for the victims and heroes of the Sichuan Earthquake. (Quotes from my new Chinese foreword to the poem.)


“1. Milling Machines / 1. Vertical Milling Machines. / 2. Horizontal Milling Machines. / 3. Universal Milling Machines. / 4. Thread Milling Machines. / 5. Others.” Nummelin’s found text poetry chapbook with apocalyptic dimensions, now available at the Nordic Poetry Center.

Behind Every Writer Stands A Translator

Markus Huss in the Swedish Upsala Nya Tidning writes about my upcoming book of essays in Finnish.

Acoustic, or turn of the century, music

is the title of my tomorrow radio feature  in Finnish Yle 1 (Ääniversumi),  87,9 MHz / Welho 92,3, starting 11 PM Finnish time and featuring 10 minutes interview (by the producer, Mikko Ahonen) + 45 minutes reading from traditional Finnish, experimental American and Swedish, and my own poetry (for details, see below). Also NOTE that from 11.10 PM Finnish time tomorrow, Sept 15, through around Oct 15, the reading will be globally available online at the Ääniversumi site.


“He is also famous for his strong performances of both his own work and of Finnish classics .” — Miia Toivio, Finland

”[gave] a terrific reading of a sound poem in ‘barbaric Finnish’.” — Ron Silliman, US

”The most singular performer I know.” — ADACHI Tomomi, Japan

”The Väinämöinen of Finnish Sound Poetry.” — Jouni Tossavanen, Finland

”[…] it is a kind of blessed nonsense that brings poetry back to its love affair with intonation and sound — that materiality of noise that coheres and melts again and coheres again…” — Philip Meters, US

”Much of it is in Finnish, but don’t worry — you might not understand it anyway!” — Leevi Lehto

Program Contents

– Eino Leino, Tuulikannel (1905)  2’02
– Otto Manninen, Vesuvius (1905)  5’09
– Leevi Lehto, Elegia (2004)  3’18
– Charles Bernstein, Besotted Desquamation (2001, in Finnish transl. by LL)  5’14
– Lars Mikael Raattamaa, Pajkerno (2006, in Engl. transl. by LL)  3’39
– John Keats, Bright Star (1818) / Leevi Lehto, Negatiivinen kyky (1997) / Leevi Lehto, Negative Capability (2006)  1’02
– Leevi Lehto, Handy MacCoystysen rakkauslaulu (2007)  10’04
– Leevi Lehto, Ananke: pantun (2004)   4’31
– Leevi Lehto, Sanasade (2004)  7’19

ADACHI Tomomi @ PennSound

go there! Also see discussion related to my earlier Tomomi entry.


Speaking Norwegian

“When the Finnish poet LL learned that the expression ‘speaking Norwegian’ had gained a new meaning, ‘to throw up’, he decided to write a poem in that language.” This and more billeder from the Tekstallianse, Oslo, a week or so back, here, and here, and here. For the text (and earlier recording) of the poem in question, visit this.

Sinikka Tirkkonen: Unohdus

A strong new book by an award-winning poet from Eastern Finland now out from ntamo.

Sat. & Sun: Tekstallianse

About to leave for Oslo, Norway, and Tekstallianse, on behalf of ntamo, Nordic Poetry Center /, and Tuli&Savu, and having promised to read (with Martin Larsen and Karl Larsson) tonight at 9.30 PM, and to give a talk on some topics of mutual interests sometime tomorrow.

Sat. & Sun: the Helsinki Poetics Conference

(& I’ll read during today’s evening club, “Tähtiä yössä”, in Bio Rex, 9 to 11 PM). More about it all, here.

Acoustic, and turn-of-the-century, music

aka “Akustista ja vuosisadan vaihteen musiikkia”, my upcoming reading in Finnish Radio, now has its Facebook event page, with “Global” availability, here.

Synopsis by UKON

is an award-winning collection of poems in Swedish (published by Symposion in 2007), and now also in Finnish, in Miia Tovio’s and my translation, published by ntamo and announced here. UKON, aka Ulf Karl Olov Nilsson, will soon visit Helsinki, performing in the “Living Poets’ Evening” at the Huvila-teltta stage on Tuesday, Aug 19 (the event starts 7 PM in Tokoinranta). – & here’s the poet from his earlier visit to Helsinki, during TextKonst, November 2005, with a snippet from Synopsis.


The main guest to this year’s Kuopio Sound Poetry Seminar (The Conference Room of Kuopio City Library, Sat. Sept. 6, 1 to 3 PM, as part of the Kirjakantti literary festival) will be ADACHI Tomomi from Japan (in the photo by Christian Yde Frostholm performing at Audiatur, Bergen, Norway, Fall 2007). The Seminar will be chaired by me and also addressed by poet Miia Toivio; in the evening’s Sound Club event, hosted by poet Jouni Tossavainen, Tomomi will perform together with Jonimatti Joutsijärvi, Marita Lindholm, Miia Toivio, and me. Apart from Kuopio, Tomomi’s Scandinavian tour will take him to LitteraturHaus, Copenhagen (Sept 2.), Fylkingen, Stockholm (Sept 3.), Muusajuhlat, Oulu (Sept. 7), and Helsinki (Sept. 9, incl. improvizations together with Jone Takamäki; details forthcoming). For more on this wonderful and inventive artist/performer, visit and his page at UbuWeb.

Aeons Swish In Eden’s Sway

is a new poem of mine based on Charles Bernstein’s ”Johnny Cake Hollow”, together with variations of it by the author (into English), Jörgen Gassilewski (into Swedish), me (into Finnish), Jörgen Gassilewski (from my Finnish into Swedish; all these homophonic) and by me into Swedish from my Finnish (metrical-semantic), that were published in ”Oversettelse 2” issue of I use all the lines of these versions in sequence, permutating them stanza per stanza following the pattern of Sestina end words. I performed the poem (see photo by Susanne Christensen) as part of the launch of Charles’ Swedish book, De svåra dikterna anfaller, eller Högt spel i tropik-erna. Dikter, essäer, samtal (OEI editör) in Weld, Stockholm, July 1, 2008. The poem is here.

Riippuvat puutarhat by Lassi Hyvärinen (ntamo 2007)

was extolled (with reservations that on closer look will prove self-cancelling) by poet-critic Markku Paasonen in today’s Helsingin Sanomat.

Update on Ulysses

Thought it was time for an update of my Ulysses project. During the months of Spring 2008, I produced the first integral draft for the new Finnish translation (the main reason for my markant absences online). The earliest possible date for publication is now Fall 2009. I have removed the earlier (now partially antiquated) samples, yet offer now a new excerpt from Section 14, “Oxen in the Sun” (“Auringon härät”) where I make the following initial substitutions for the writers Joyce consulted for this his “history of English prose writing”: Elias Lönnrot (1802-1884) for Daniel Defoe (c. 1661-1731), K. A. Gottlund (1796-1875) for Jonathan Swift (1667-1745), Antero Varelius (1821-1904) for Joseph Addison (1672-1719) and Richard Steele (1672-1719), Aleksis Kivi (1834-1872) for Lawrence Sterne (1713-68), and August Ahlqvist (1826-1889) for Oliwer Goldsmith (1728-74).

A Tsunami In A Thimble

The issue 2/2008 (52) of the Finnish poetry magazine, Tuli&Savu, celebrates the history of the first 50 issues – featuring editorials by all previous editors-in-chief. This is what I had to say in my piece.


The anthology of new Finnish poetry that I curated in 2006 for the special issue of OEI, the Swedish magazine of poetry (with my preface both in Swedish and English) now downloadable as PDF at the new Nordic Poetry Center (formerly EPC Scandinavian Portal) hosted by

Mera äksön i Stockholm

OEI Poetry Area; Extension #6: Charles Bernstein, Susan Bee, Leevi Lehto.

Uppläsningar och framföranden av Charles Bernstein (USA), Susan Bee (USA), Leevi Lehto (Finland), Jörgen Gasilewski (Sverige).

Release för den första samlingen med Charles Bernsteins texter i svensk översättning, det komplexa, humoristiska, tonfallsrika och oupphörligt växlande montaget Charles Bernstein. De svåra dikterna anfaller, eller Högt spel i tropik-erna. Dikter, essäer, samtal. (OEI editör).

Tid: Tisdagen den 1 juli kl. 18:30 – 21:00.

Plats: Weld, Norrtullsgatan 7 (t-bana Odenplan)

Living in a Digital World


As part of this large-scale event, Charles Bernstein and I will discuss our “lifes” “in the digital word”, in Hall C of the City Conference Center, Folkets Hus, Stockholm, Monday, June 30, 2 to 2.40 PM. For more about the conference, go here (for more detail, click Day By Day Program, then Seminar Program at a Glance (pdf).


Kenny the G is at it again: “Unpublishable” being a feature of UbuWeb where he examines what constitutes an unpublishable text (“it may be too long, too experimental, too dull”… but, what is crucial, “the web is a perfect place to test the limits of unpublishability. With no design or distribution costs, we are free to explore…”). The series will conclude when the 100th manuscript is published; there are 33 of them now – and I’m in that number, you might even say I’m the only one of them, though you cannot see me there. Why? You guessed it: since I’m unpublishable.

Aphorisms Countertruth

Tiina Lehikoinen (Sitruunalumilyhtyjä, ntamo 2008) interviewed in Turun Sanomat.


In a deligthful assignement from the Teos publishing house, I got to translate the poetry in Possession by A. S. Byatt – a book considered by many as a landmark work of 80’s/90’s “Postmodern” fiction. 2000 lines by non-existent Victorian poets into a diction that never was – my kinda job. Here’s “Swammerdam” by “R. H. Ash” for you. Possession as Riivaus, transl. by Marja Alopaeus, was published in April this year.


(a bacherol machine after Duchamp after Kafka) is a powerful new poem by Charles Bernstein (check out this video recording from the conference on “Conceptual Poetry & Its Others”, Poetry Center, University of Arizona Tucson, May 29, 2008). It’s in line with “Thank You For Saying Thank You” (With Strings), only “deeper” in its humor/agony. I found listening to it very addictive! & the discussion on it at Poetry Foundation’s “Harriet” blog is a piece of found poetry on its own right! – & while we are in Tucson, Marjorie Perloff makes good use of Northern European impetus (, Aleksandr Skidan, Cia Rinne’s and my work) in this her keynote address there.

Unkown Object

The dear Miikka Mutanen sends me this (to be honest, I don’t quite know what it is).


My piece for the Wuhan (China) conference on 20th Century American Poetry, in July 2007, now at Sibila English.

Bottom Line

Started to work on this on this fine Juhannus morning, at our country house in Degerby, Finland.