November 27, 2005 9:50 PM Pushing the Message Through. “Viulistit soittavat Sibeliuksen viulukonserton yhä hitaammin” (The violinists tend to play the Sibelius’ Violin Concerto ever more slowly); “Jean Sibeliuksen viulukonsertto hidastuu” (Jean Sibelius’ Violin Concerto becomes slower), “Demoninen finaali on nykyisin usein verkkaista lönköttelyä” (The demotic Finale is now often just leisurely jogging along); “Tasaiset tempot korvasivat virtuoosiset nykijät” (Jerky virtuosos got replaced by even tempos); “Viulistit soittavat Sibeliuksen viulukonserton finaalin eri tavoin” (The violinists differ in how they play the Sibelius’ Violin Concerto) which is, perhaps, why “Pyrähtelijät erottuvat jolkottelijoista” (The spurters stand out among the joggers). – All the headlines and subtitles in a one page feature on the subject in Helsingin Sanomat today (page C1). The graphical presentation of the variation in temnpo over time is impressive too.

November 26, 2005 8:00 AM Two newcomers to my blogroll. Malte Persson, a critic and writer with a book of prose and another of verse behind him, may be Sweden’s leading literary blogger. He writes with an admirable flexibility just about everything with a connection to words, coffee and coffee filters included. And the amount of comments and his treating of them are exemplary. Daniel Shiffman is practician, researcher, and teacher of computer-generated art and text (this small applet of his beautifully examines the beauty of code). (And I’ve got the honor to have the Google Poem Generator listed among the examples in his Spring 2006 course syllabus “Programming from A to Z”.)

November 25, 2005 3:58 PM One of the highlights of the TekstiKonst / TextTaide reading for me was Ulf Karl Olov Nilsson’s performance. You’ll find two of his pieces translated into English by Fredrik Hertzberg, Karri Kokko, and me here. There’s also a link to a video of UKON’s reading, and Tuli&Savu Net has more videos of the evening.

November 25, 2005 10:20 AM More Info.

November 24, 2005 9:42 PM Noted in Norway: Paal Bjelke Andersen after TextTaide / Tekstikonst.

November 24, 2005 1:55 PM Noted in Denmark: Fredrik Hertzberg on TextTaide / Tekstikonst in plog, the group blog of the award-winning Danish poetry site afsnit p.

November 24, 2005 8:41 AM More (Finnish) reactions to TextTaide / TekstiKonst: Sven Laakso, Juhana Vähänen. Marko Niemi dedicates a poem for Ulf Karl Olov Nilsson, Miia Toivio has an impressive “Thank You” list, and Teemu Manninen’s new meditations on Googled versus Flarfed poetry are not unconnected either. The event was also noted by Jarmo Papinniemi, the editor-in-chief of Parnasso – not to forget Kauppalehti Presso. Tuli&Savu Net already features a series of images by Karri Kokko who, again, joins the “not totally unrelated” debate on Hesari.

November 24, 2005 7:55 AM Heikki Sovijärvi’s livejournal page, “not a blog, rather a publication” is well worth checking out. Consider this, from his Foreword: “I want (…) to urge (…) all writers fed up with knocking at the publishers’ doors, or sending texts out to competitions, like musicians in the Idols show (…) to take the pen in their beautiful hands [a reference to idiomatic Finnish for “to behave”], and to come to the streets.” And note also his interesting sticker campaign to promote his page and work…

November 23, 2005 10:10 AM First (?) reactions to my yesterday’s take on Hesari: Anita Konkka, Sven Laakso, Rauno Räsänen.

November 23, 2005 9:27 AM The first to report of yesterdays’ TextTaide / TekstiKonst – a great success by all standards: Karri, with this image of Jyrki Pellinen reading from Niin päinvastoin kuin kukaan (Otava 1965).

November 22, 2005 1:05 PM The day of the TextTaide / TekstiKonst: suomeksi, på svenska, in English. And here’s my – not totally unrelated – note on Miksi vouhkaan Hesarista (Why Do I Rant About Helsingin Sanomat (Finnish now)).

November 21, 2005 5:40 PM I was glad to read Ron Silliman’s balanced evaluation of The New Yorker’s profile on Ashbery. I too thought it better than some blogger critics have indicated. (And I can’t imagine a comparable feature (in length, in attention to detail, in subject matter even) to appear in any Finnish mainstream publication.) Thanks to Ron also for the url to a pirate PDF of the profile.

November 20, 2005 12:12 AM “spork stoops to a spoon”spork” by Sheila E. Murphy; “Haavat” by Kati (of haavahuone).

November 20, 2005 8:55 AM The Martian Press announces the publication of Call & Response. The book began as a selection of 10 concrete poems by derek beaulieu. Each poem was altered during the editing process by Jonathan Ball to create 10 new works. Each work and its resulting corruption is presented, back-to-back, on a piece of 8 1/2 x 11 card stock. The cards are contained in an envelope along with an 11th “title page” – each of which is signed by both authors. The chapbook is published in a limited run of 100. If you would like a copy, contact jonathan at jonathanball dot com. Books are $5 each + an extra something for mailing. Jonathan is also very willing to make trades.

November 19, 2005 10:23 AM Spellinen peaking. A transcribing of a recording of Jyrki and me talking poetics and gossiping, Fall 2002 (Finnish).

November 18, 2005 6:35 PM A Finnish Apollinaire Classic. Jukka Kemppinen has posted “Zone” as his “Vyöhyke“, from 1976.

November 18, 2005 9:44 AM Marjorie Perloff on The Weather by Kenneth Goldsmith: “Moving Information” (PDF).

November 18, 2005 7:59 AM I väntan på TekstiKonst. publishes Anna Hallberg’s piece on, a.o., relation of visual to literal in poetry and in our reactions to it, also discussing, a.o., Lars Mikael Raattamaa’s influental poem “Al Jazeera“. TextTaide / TeksiKonst on Tue, Oct 22, in Galleria Huuto and Bar Dubrovnik, Helsinki. Read more here, ja täällä, ock här.

November 17, 2005 8:15 AM A Follow-Up On Windmills. My somewhat angry comment yesterday triggered responses from Jarmo Papinniemi and Jussi of Kasablogi, plus from several visitors in their comment boxes (I know I should introduce one too). While all of these sympathize with my points, I think, some have reservations of the type “well, power always has to reside somewhere”. In a personal email, Mervi Kantokorpi regrets the prominence of critics in the the present National Council for Literature, saying this will change in a year’s time (but is she supposed to know that?). I will content myself to re-formulating some of my doubts as to the integrity of the First Book Prize process: How can they know in February that the first poetry book of the year deserves to be short-listed, over the vast majority of the yet-unpublished ones? Who actually does the selecting? Why is there no separation of “powers” – the critics now effectively judging their own evaluating process? What to think of a competition without a stable set of rules (cf. Antti Majander: “Towards the end of the year, the jury decided to lower the threshold.”)? – Otherwise, I do think that HS should just be split up, like – and with more reason – they suggested doing with Microsoft. Yes, and congrats to the winner.

November 16, 2005 3:27 PM It’s official. Salt Publishing announces the publication of Leevi Lehto: Lake Onega and Other Poems (September 2006).

November 16, 2005 8:50 AM The repulsively self-congratulating feature on the “impact” of literary prizes in today’s Helsingin Sanomat makes me note this: The “Esikoiskirjapalkinto” (HS prize for first books) is NOT (even) a real literature prize. It’s only there to promote the journalistic (and marketing) interests of the paper. The selection of the shortlist is random at its best, and especially the books coming out in the Autumn season cannot dream of getting anything like a fair treatment. And this is only one of the symptoms of this cancer in the body of Finnish cultural life – think, for instance, of two of the main poetry reviewers (Mervi Kantokorpi and Jukka Koskelainen) sitting in The National Council for Literature, deciding over the big grants to poets, whose performance is then judged (and success determined, as today’s feature indicates) by those very same people in their reviews in the paper. It’s hard to believe anything like this being tolerated in this “the least corrupted country in the world”.

November 15, 2005 11:11 AM I see that, after a short hiatus, the “Kirjat” (Books) section at Tuli&Savu Net is being updated again. If you can read Finnish and are interested in the poetry written in the language now, you should navigate (to and in) there. You will get access to some 550 reviews on the poetry books published 2002 and after, from 32 publications – literary magazines, newspapers, websites…

November 15, 2005 7:20 AM For the rights of the Ethnic Maris and other minorities in Russian Federation. A demonstration today in front of the Russian Embassy, Tehtaankatu 1, Helsinki. Speakers include Heidi Hautala, Anita Konkka, Leena Laulajainen, the poet Sergej Zavjalov, and artist-critic Kimmo Sarje. For some background, visit the Information Centre of the Finno-Ugric People.

November 14, 2005 9:45 PM My recent implementation of the “New Sentence” pattern in the Google Poem Generator comes close to that of Bill Luomas classic Lizardo engine. I didn’t think that beforehand, but can see it now – based on this (and this) revealing image.

November 14, 2005 10:46 AM Not a pwoermd or poam, not even urno, here’s a piece of recent world news in Finnish: aiskuyri.

November 13, 2005 9:59 AM … & not to forget Kafkakoski, writing in Finnish from Barcelona: Vuodatus ei toimi lauantaina Barcelonassa.

November 13, 2005 8:20 AM Samples of recent Google Poetry (links to the respective blogs): itte, Veloena kirjastossa, Timo Salo: Sana (a great Sestina on the Finnish word for “word”). Interestingly, Timo’s New Sentence piece on Glögi (glögi?) seems to consentrate on dietary analysis and recommendations.

November 13, 2005 8:22 AM Another report of the “Runoilijat ringissä” reading last Wed.:

November 12, 2005 3:24 PM “… he’ll give [his students] a text in a language that none of them know and tell them to translate it into English. (He used to use hieroglyphics but found that he was getting a lot of poems about eyes and fish, so now he uses Finnish.” The John Ashbery profile in The New Yorker, Nov. 7, 2005, by Larissa MacFarquhar, reminds me of the reading in the Ateneum Building, Helsinki, September 1994, when John was asked how he felt about listening to Finnish. “It’s like flowing water to me”, he said. Perkele, it is!

November 12, 2005 11:23 AM I’ve said this before: the forerunners’ lot is not an enviable one. First you are ignored by everyone; then suddendly those same ones are busy trying to forget you – as something to be “passed”, “overcome” and “left behind”. In Finnish Litterary Blogistan, this may apply to Markku Soikkeli, whose “Lecturer’s Diary” has been around from 2001; and though it’s perfectly linkable, to this day, you couldn’t find it on practically anyone’s blogroll, Anita Konkka (and myself) included. I came to think of Markku while pondering who would be the first to write about Runoseminaari at Runoviikko, yesterday in Turku (I’m a bit curious to know about why Jyrki Kiiskinen “didn’t become a Language Poet”, or rather – since I think I know the outlines of the answer – why he would ask such a question). As of my writing this, even Markku hasn’t reported on the seminar; as of your reading, he may well have.

November 12, 2005 7:26 AM Here’s the proof (of the Stay-Up Headdress): Kari Klemelä’s Suomentajan huomioita (scroll down a bit).

November 11, 2005 10:54 PM Here’s the correct url to Jesper Olsson on Sonnevi (thanks, Karri). Fredrik Nyberg, also among the TekstTaide poets, offers useful comments on Sonnevi in footnotes to his own poem, here.

November 11, 2005 12:54 AM I väntan på TekstiKonst (Nov 22, 7 PM to 2 AM, Bar Dubrovnik, Helsinki), these three reviews of Göran Sonnevis new, massive book Oceanen may cause a Finn to reflect on possible differences between poetry cultures this and that side of Bottenviken: Hanna Hallgren in Aftonbladet, Anna Hallberg in Göteborgs-Posten, Jesper Olsson in Svenska Dagbladet. (Via Paal Bjelke Andersen.) (& updated my list of participating poets).

November 11, 2005 9:51 AM Christopher Church contributes a new Villanelle – whould you ever have thought of rhyming “really”, “structurally”, and “certainly” with “anally”?

November 10, 2005 10:23 AM The two new additions to the Google Poem patterns seem to have started off quite well. Yesterday, we again topped one thousand for pageloads, causing the Google captcha page to be served (with other unstability) at least for some time around midnight GMT. I really should pick up my negotiations with the security guys in Silicon Valley ;-). Two new Villanelles (by Mikael Brygger and Elina Siltanen) and a Christopher Church couplets poem in the Anthology.

November 10, 2005 8:42 PM Thanks to Blogizen Rane for a comment.

November 9, 2005 10:23 PM Folks at are (or have been?) discussing poetry generators. I’m in Turku; together with Tapani Kinnunen and Riku Korhonen, we had good time reading each others poems (I came to read a couple of Tapani’s poems with one of my wife’s pair of stay-ups on my head…). Hope the audience enjoyed it at least partly as much as we did. Runoviikko continues.

November 9, 2005 11:30 AM e. e. cummings, perhaps the great, minor poet if there ever was one, has not had many translations published in Finnish. Yet it seems every other Finnish poet I know or know of at some point comes to confess having “tried” his/her hand on him. Thus, also, Juri Nummelin whose new blog now features a number of versions from 73 poems, an influental small Faber&Faber volume from 1961. The translations are, as Juri says, “from ten years back”. Which makes me realize that my own cummings’, from exactly the same volume, but from an earlier time – 1988, I think – have long been unavailable (because of a a failure in porting the stuff to a new server once…). After some rumbling in my hard-drives I now managed to locate them, and here they are, again. – Yes, and speaking about 73 poems and cummings’ influences, I simply must point you to 73 poems by Kenny Goldsmith (and Joan La Barbara), from 1993, as well.

November 9, 2005 7:44 AM Tom Beckett (A Villanelle) by Karri Kokko.

November 9, 2005 6:57 AM Ron Silliman notes the sad news about the poet Nadia Anjuman. The long discussion in Ron’s comment box is also worth checking out, and for more reactions, go for this Technorati search. – On a related note, the RAI report on WMD’s used in Iraq is not for the faint-of-heart.

November 8, 2005 9:15 PM The Google Poem Generator: Introducing new patterns: “Villanelle” and “New Sentence”.

November 8, 2005 11:16 AM Tomorrow, Wed, Nov 9, at 7 PM, I’ll be with Tapani Kinnunen and Riku Korhonen in Kirjakahvila, Vanha Suurtori 3, Turku. We will read each others’ and our own poems. This is part of Runoviikko Varsinais-Suomessa, Nov. 7 to 13, 2005.

November 8, 2005 7:08 AM Just copying from the ever-vigilant Anita Konkka: five new Finnish literary bloggers: Jukka Kemppinen, Neiti Pyy, Juri Nummelin, Mikko Rimminen, and Jari Tammi. Will have reasons to return to some of these.

November 7, 2005 9:58 PM Elina’s topical Paris poem now in the Anthology, in French.

November 7, 2005 10:41 AM Re my recent Keats post, there’s an expanded version of Graig Douglas Dworkin’s superb Unheard Music among new additions to Ubu. It’s a collection of 28 mini-reviews on musical pieces with no sound – and note that not all of them are favorable…

November 7, 2005 7:45 AM Blogs. Mediaopettaja (Meadia Teacher: in Finnish; via ill: Toisia runoja) writes wisely about, i.e., Nyt-liite and Anssi “Can I Find Something Uninteresting In Blogistan If I Really Try” Miettinen of Kuukausiliite. Poetry in Motion by a certain Calsa is a new attempt at second-hand poetry online (via Blogisanomat – that a bit strangely fails to credit the concept to Karri’s Uusia lauseita. And call me purist, but Calsa’s and Vuokratontti’s insistence on giving out the original sources somewhat spoils the fun for me. It’s a bit what explaining your own poems in the days of self-expressive poetry used to be – tedious at its best, and self-congratulating beneath its “communalist” mask…) The dullest blog in the world, again, is admirable. I especially appreciate it’s slow rate of updates, and what an avalanche of comments! At least it is more entertaining than Samuel Pepys.

November 7, 2005 6:15 AM Émeutes. Elina Siltanen made a Google Poem on what is happening in Paris just now.

November 6, 2005 8:59 AM Tämä kaikki on myös Bartokia (This Is All Bartok As Well), a suite of minimalistic poems by Jyrki Pellinen, from 2004, in original and in my English. & Jyrki’s own page now here.

November 5, 2005 10:18 AM “Ode on a Grecian Urn” by John Keats – in my new draft, in Aale Tynni’s translation, & with some commentary by me (all in Finnish).

November 4, 2005 3:59 PM There’s some info (or not) for you in this new revealing image.

November 4, 2005 8:47 AM noulipo, an Experimental Writing Conference, Oct. 28-29, 2005, in Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theater, Walt Disney Concert Hall, LA, seems to have (alas) been a place to be, based, a.o., on reports by these new blogger acquaintances: Joseph Mosconi, Stephanie Young, and Stan Apps.

November 3, 2005 10:00 PM It’s been revealingly (?) uphillish (?) here lately.

November 3, 2005 6:08 AM Introducing the Special Guest of the Month: Jyrki Pellinen. We start with extracts from one of several unpublished manuscripts I’ve had honor to work on with the poet lately: Never-Landin Laulut (Songs of Neverland, working title), from Spring 2004, is a long poem, runoelma, echoing prosodically Jyrki’s earlier Kertosäkeiden laulu, and at the same time unpredecented in his work for it’s historico-political-literary commentary and autobiographical elements – “so unlike no-one”, though (my role is restricted to typing out and minor editing). Should I add that there is no major publisher in Finland willing to consider publishing this. 14 poems (of 54 in all) here – and there are also a revealing image or two.

November 2, 2005 11:59 AM Missing from my earlier list of poets to read in the special Swedish-Finland-Swedish-Finnish Kohina in Bar Dubrovnik, Nov. 22: Robert Alftan and Eino Santanen. More in My Calendar.

November 2, 2005 7:10 AM Mikael Brygger makes interesting use of the “Collage” pattern.

November 1, 2005 6:32 PM This image also reveals a small piece of literary news.

November 1, 2005 8:50 AM New Month, New Google Poems:Lines on Port Kembla” by Sarah Boynton, “Q!<_%F%” by Make Copies.