September 29, 2006 10:50 AM A few things I know of him (Charles Bernstein) – in Karri Kokko’s interview with me at Suomen Kuvalehti Online today. Bernstein’s and Pellinen’s new books now available as pdf’s at Tuli&Savu Net.

September 28, 2006 14:14 PM News That Stay News. The decisions by the Finnish The National Council for Literature on the yearly artists’ grants for 2007 were made public today. More info here.

September 28, 2006 11:00 AM Announcing two new titles in poEsia: Runouden puolustus by Charles Bernstein (a 254 page selection of poems and essays, edited by me and translated by Markku Into, Teemu Manninen, Tuomas Nevanlinna, Tommi Nuopponen, Aki Salmela, and me), and Katkaistut haulikot by Jyrki Pellinen (“kuin puhelinpönttöjä tai koiran haukahduksia / maailmani muuttuvassa runoudessa, täällä Jyrki päivää”). Launch for both volumes, with both authors present, at the Turku Book Fair, Kirjakahvila, Messukentänkatu 9-13, Saturday, Sept. 30, 1 PM. On Monday, Oct. 2, Charles Bernstein will give a quest lecture at the Helsinki University (2 PM, Päärakennus, sali 12, Fabianinkatu 33) and read at Cafe Englel (6 PM, Aleksanterinkatu 26, Helsinki). Note that after Helsinki, Charles will also visit Stockholm. More info here (och här).

September 19, 2006 9:05 AM While fully subscribing to my proposed method of translation, Charles notes in an email that he in fact compiled the original “Besotted Desquamation” freely, without consulting any dictionaries. WOW! I new him to be a machine, and that he has internalized the dictionary (to both of which he admits in a subsequent email), but on a theme of DESQUAMATION (hilseily)! where his personal experience must be somewhat limited…

September 19, 2006 8:45 AM I’ve been too overwhelmed by other things lately even to update the Google Poem Anthology… Now, Sheila E. Murphy adds a new one to her ongoing series of Activated Googlisms, “lurk“; Jesse Crockett presents an interesting experience in writing in another language (Dutch, I think, but I don’t know if he knows his title, “Roope“, also to be a Finnish proper name); and Edward Young submits two beautiful poems on eternal themes. Elsewhere, the indefatigable Auto Poet has managed to compile a piece based on my recent umlaut points gag (interestingly, the poem seem to have some knowledge of the genesis of my neologism, referring to “Päijät-Häme“, a region in Finland where I was born and spent my childhood). The good folks in Pohjanmaa (Botnia, Finland) recently also discovered my engine, producing a fine set of lyrics at this “city blog” of Vaasa. – I hope to be able to re-introduce the now missing patterns, “Couplets” and “New Sentence”, in a near future.

September 18, 2006 9:15 PM Back in Helsinki after a truly fabulous weekend in Stockholm. I read together with J. O. Mallander in Café Edenborg on Friday, and was part of the big Finnish-Swedish marathon reading (list of poets revealed here) at Ugglan on Saturday. In the latter especially, you could literary hear a new, transnational communal space of poetry to start building up. For the text of my “statement” / introduction to reading “my” “‘Besotted Dequamation’ by Charles Bernstein”, click here. All this connecting to the new, special Finnish issue of the Swedish poetry magazine OEI (suOmEI), I put my Foreword (English version) to the issue’s large anthology of new Finnish poetry up here. The events in Stockholm also reported by Karri Kokko in Suomen Kuvalehti online.

September 7, 2006 8:47 PM Girly Man! The new volume by Charles Bernstein looks really strong and substantial. A certain amount of its poems will soon also see the Finnish light in Runouden puolustus (essays and poems by Berstein, poEsia 2006), edited by me and currently in it’s final birth-throes.

September 7, 2006 8:43 PM One of the most internationally oriented (and known) young Finnish poets, gifted poetry engineer (as well as reverse one; and also the man behind Nokturno, the “Finnish UbuWeb”), Marko Niemi, has published his first book of concrete poetry, nurousoppi (the litte luodc herpaps eb lanstrated as “Toepics”), via Jukka-Pekka Kervinen’s new important press, Ankkuri. Congrats, Marko! Others! Ordering it online is easy (but it’s only available there, as of course is Marko’s warmly recommendable digipovispoist blog, nurotus)

September 6, 2006 10:40 AM Umlaut, jum’laut! In the Kuopio seminar on sound poetry, there was obviously some amount of talk about umlauts (Bök! Löf!). During one of the pauses, Sakari Katajamäki came up with this quizz about the longest Finnish language string with consecutive umlaut-points – his initial expample being “pääjääjä” (“the main one to remain”; we count “i” and “j” in). On the way back to Helsinki, in Karri Kokko’s car, some of us started to expand on this. Here’s how my candidate for a challenger to Sakari’s example builds up: First, we have “äijä” (“an old guy”). The great bard Eino Leino has a poem about an old guy by name “Äijö”: “Äijö-äijä”. Today, we can imagine a person, machine, or spirit with the capabily to produce new äijä’s: “äijääjä” (“Äijö-äijääjä”), and why not one producing these producers as well – we decide to call him/her/it “äijääjäjöijä” (“Äijö-äijääjäjöijä”). If this sounds too fantastic to you, let’s assume the “äijä’s” produced are not living creatures but rather statues or something – perhaps fashionably made out of ice in wintertime, “jää-äijä’s” (we now have “jää-äijääjäjöijä”). This kind of statues could hardly be exhibited at any of those outdoor summer art farms the Finnish countryside practically swarms with; for these purposes, the “äijääjöijä” would evidently proclaim him/her/itself ineligible – thus being “vääjääjä-jää-äijääjäjöijä” – a title bound to draw some attention (as from you, just now) toward, or into, itself, i.e. “vääjääjä-jää-Äijö-äijääjäjöijään”. Fourty-three consecutive umlaut points, if I can count on my counting. – Then again, according to John Ashbery’s memorable formulation, “the Devil doesn’t give a shit whether your name has an umlaut to it or not”.

September 6, 2006 9:56 AM The yesterday Ajankohtainen kakkonen (Finnish National TV, TV2) report on the Kuopio Sound Poetry Seminar (with samples of readings by / interviews with Christian Bök, Sakari Katajamäki, Teemu Manninen and me) now available at the program’s web page (click at the link “Ääniruno ärjähtää ja kuiskaa”).

September 6, 2006 7:15 AM It’s Swennish Now! Friday to Saturday, September 15-16, 2006, the Swedish poetry magazine OEI, together with the Finnish one, Tuli&Savu (and in cooperation with Galleria Huuto), will present “Finnish Poetry Now!”, a happening with 1) a reading on Sept. 15, 8 PM, by J. O. Mallander and myself in Café Edenborg, Stora Nygatan 35 (in the Old Town), 2) on Sept. 16, 3 PM to 10 PM, a huge reading at Ugglan, Närkesgatan 6 (at Nytorget) with 30+ Finnish, Finland-Swedish and Swedish poets, featuring Anna Hallberg, Cia Rinne, Eino Santanen, Fredrik Hertzberg, Fredrik Nyberg, Heidi von Wright, Helena Eriksson, Henriikka Tavi, Ida Börjel, J. O, Mallander, Janne Nummela, Johan Jönson, Johannes Heldén, Juhana Vähänen, Jukka-Pekka Kervinen, Jörgen Gassilewski, Kajsa Sundin, Karl Larsson, Lars Mikael Raattamaa, me, Mara Lee, Marina Ciglar, Marko Niemi, Martin Högström, Miia Toivio, Reetta Niemelä, Silja Järventausta, Teemu Manninen, Tuomas Timonen, Ulf Karl Olov Nilsson, Ulrika Nielsen, and Ville-Juhani Sutinen, to be followed by a party with electronic music by Jean-Louis Huhta. The happening is also a release of a special Finland issue of OEI, suOmEI – featuring contemporary Finnish poetry (in an 170 page anthology edited by me) and textart (in a separate section edited by Marina Ciglar and Fredrik Hertzberg).

September 4, 2006 4:40 PM Radio radio… YLE1, “Kultakuume“, on the Kuopio Sound Poetry Seminar, and YLE Radio Häme on Janne Nummela and Lyhyellä matkalla ohuesti jäätyneen meren yli (poEsia 2006).

September 4, 2006 10:00 AM Updating my Calendar… with trips/readings/talks during Fall 2006 to/in Stockholm to Turku to Reykjavik to London to Philadelphia…and somewhat surprisingly to me, I have one assignment in Helsinki as well.

September 4, 2006 8:05 AMA Christian Bök reading today at 7 PM in Cafe Engel, Aleksanterinkatu 26, Helsinki. Ajankohtainen Kakkonen, Finnish National TV (TV2), will cover the Saturday Kuopio Sound Poetry Seminar on Tuesday, starting 9 PM. A report by Karri Kokko on Bök’s visit to Kuopio in Suomen Kuvalehti online (in Finnish). & for a quick English translation of Bök’s Savon Sanomat interview on Saturday, click here.

September 2, 2006 11:40 AM Christian Bök interviewed by Risto Löf in today’s Savon Sanomat. Christan, Teemu Manninen, Sakari Katajamäki and I today at 1 PM in the Second Kuopio Sound Poetry Seminar in the Conference Room of the Kuopio City Library and Christian; Teemu and I performing in Burts tea & cafe, Kuopio starting at 20 PM.

September 1, 2006 6:15 AM I’m heading for Kuopio, where I’ll attend the second annual Sound Poetry Seminar, part of the literary festival KirjaKantti, together with Christian Bök, Sakari Katajamäki and Teemu Manninen.