The Annikki Poetry Festival
Next time on June 2018
The Annikki Poetry Festival (est. 2003) has grown to be one of Finland’s foremost poetry events. The festival’s focus is still on poetry, although it has expanded to also include prose, music and the visual arts. The Annikki Poetry Festival aims to vitalize contemporary poetics and to put together surprising combinations of performers, as well as redefine the very boundaries of what poetry events can be. The Annikki Poetry Festival has gathered around it a three-day off-tier event cycle called Annikki OFF. The Annikki Poetry Festival is a non-profit event organized by volunteers.
In addition to Finnish performers, the festival also regularly features high profile international luminaries. Performance poets to have partaken in the festival in recent years include Gregory Pardlo (USA), Yumi Fuzuki & Hikaru Cho (JP), Mutabaruka (Jamaica), Anne Waldman (USA), Kido Shuri (JP), Nikky Finney (USA), John Cooper Clarke (UK), John Giorno (USA), Jaan Kaplinski (EE), Henry Bowers (SE), Gerður Kristný (IS) et al. – many of whom had never been previously featured in Finland. Our Finnish performers always represent both more established authors and more recent contemporary voices.
The next Annikki Poetry Festival will be organized on June 2018. Follow us on Facebook for updates!
The venue of the Annikki Poetry Festival is a 100-year-old wooden town quarter in the centre of Tampere city, which has served as a very special, warm and welcoming milieu for poets and audience to meet and mingle. The venue is accessible for wheelchair users. There is an accessible toilet. The assistants of physically disabled have a free entrace to the event.
The Annikki Poetry Festival has gathered around it a three-day off-tier event cycle called Annikki OFF. This was the fifth year in a row that the off-festival program and its dozens of literary events; Annikki OFF was organized June 8-10, 2016. Read more (in Finnish only).
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Annikki Poetry Festival 2016
Annikki Poetry Festival June 11 2016 was crossing artistic borders with the theme of Poets Sans Frontières. The event gathered performers whose work combines poetry with other art forms, such as dance, visual arts, music, performance and live art. Many of the performances were one-off shows produced exclusively for Annikki Poetry Festival.
The festival featured prominent international performers: the stage was taken by Gregory Pardlo, winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for poetry, Yumi Fuzuki, one of the most renowned young poets in Japan, Martin Glaz Serup who is one of the most acclaimed contemporary poets in Denmark and Kári Tulinius a poet from Iceland.
Finnish artists at Annikki included Vilja-Tuulia Huotarinen & Satu Tuittila, Paperi T, Helena Sinervo & Tiina Poutanen, J.K. Ihalainen & Reijo Kela, Mikko Sarvanne Hip Company & Jussi Pelkonen, Mustat silmät, Claes Andersson, Katja Kettu, Laura Lindstedt, Raisa Jäntti, Marjo Kirjavainen and Mikko Mankinen.
The Performance Program 2016
2016 Annikki Poetry Festival’s performance program featured four artists working in Finland: Magnús Logi Kristinsson, Egle Oddo, Janne Rahkila and Roi Vaara. The works in the programme presented several interpretations of encounters between performance art and poetry. The programme was curated by Kaisa Luukkonen. Read more!
The performers 2016
Gregory Pardlo is an American poet who won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for poetry with his second collection, Digest. Living in Brooklyn, New York, Pardlo did not take the most common route to becoming a poet and professor of literature at Columbia University. Before his literary career, Pardlo served in the Marine Corps, lived in Denmark for five years and managed a jazz club.
In his fearlessly personal poems, Pardlo combines elements of both entertainment and high-brow culture, playing with various literary styles with a carefree approach. The themes of his poetry include everyday life in Brooklyn, the challenges of fatherhood and life as an African American. Pardlo will be performing at the festival with saxophonist Sami Sippola and drummer Janne Tuomi of the Finnish jazz combo Hot Heros.
Yumi Fuzuki is one of Japan’s most renowned and prominent modern poets despite her young age. She wrote her debut collection while in upper secondary school and won two of the country’s most important poetry prizes – as the youngest winner ever. Recurring themes in Fuzuki’s poems are the female body, giving birth to things and surreal moments in daily life. In addition to her two collections, Fuzuki has featured as a poet in numerous cross-arts projects and a film (in a cameo role). She often appears on television and radio shows, and her poems have been printed on tights and pencils.
The Finnish edition of Yumi Fuzuki’s debut collection, translated from the Japanese by Mayu Saaritsa, will be launched at Annikki Poetry Festival. Fuzuki will be sharing the stage with the internationally recognised Japanese artist Hikaru Cho
Despite her young age, Japanese Hikaru Cho has made a career as an internationally recognised visual artist. She is best known for her fantastic 3D body paintings, which have appeared in, for example, Amnesty’s My Body My Rights campaign. Her work includes animations and sculptures as well as garments designed for several clothing brands. Cho has also designed artistic garments, such as tights featuring the poetry of Yumi Fuzuki. At Annikki Poetry Festival, Cho will be performing with Fuzuki, taking the stage with a fascinating combination of poetry and body painting.
Martin Glaz Serup
Martin Glaz Serup is one of Denmark’s most acclaimed contemporary poets. His poetry collection Marken was published in 2010 and has been translated into English (The Field, 2011) and Finnish (Kenttä, 2014). The collection is considered one of the landmarks of contemporary Danish poetry. Glaz Serup has published eight poetry collections since 2002 and is also a productive children’s writer.
Glaz Serup has been awarded for his literary work with, for example, the prestigious state art prize, and his work has been translated into a number of languages. He has also edited several literature and poetry magazines and taught creative writing at a university.
Kári Tulinius & Vilja tuulia Huotarinen
Kári Tulinius is an Icelandic poet and writer who lives and writes in both Reykjavik and Helsinki. His debut novel was published in 2010 and his debut collection of poetry last year. Poems by Tulinius have been published in several magazines and anthologies. For Annikki Poetry Festival, Tulinius has prepared a performance of contemporary dance and poetry, Dance in Three Languages, together with Vilja-Tuulia Huotarinen and dance artist Satu Tuittila. It is a performance of contemporary dance and poetry based on improvisation and the shared rhythms of Finnish, Icelandic and the language of dance.
Vilja-Tuulia Huotarinen is a poet and writer who splits her time between Finland and Iceland. She has published four poetry collections and several books for young people.
Satu Tuittila is a dancer, choreographer and all-round influential figure in the world of dance. Studying the opportunities of improvisation in her work, Tuittila has often collaborated with composers, poets and musicians. For Annikki Poetry Festival, Tuittila has prepared a performance of contemporary dance and poetry, Dance in Three Languages, together with Kári Tulinius and Vilja-Tuulia Huotarinen.
Claes Andersson is a poet, writer and jazz musician living in Helsinki. He is one of the most significant Finnish-Swedish contemporary poets. In his latest collections, he has often dealt with ageing and illness in a touching, laconic way. At Annikki Poetry Festival, Andersson will be performing not only as a poet but also as a pianist.
Rap artist Paperi T has long been an influence in the Finnish hip hop scene. Released last year, his first solo album achieved great commercial success despite its uncompromising nature. With the surprise success of the album, Paperi T, who has been referred to as the intellectual of Finnish rap, headlined several major festivals.
Helena Sinervo is a Helsinki-based poet and writer. Since her literary career began in 1994, she has published nine poetry collections and three novels. Sinervo is known as an exceptionally strong interpreter of her own poetry. At Annikki Poetry Festival, Sinervo will be performing together with visual artist Tiina Poutanen.
Visual artist and poet Tiina Poutanen works smoothly in the worlds of visual art and poetry alike. Poutanen’s art is rich in natural themes and dreamlike animal characters. At Annikki Poetry Festival, she will improvise a work of art to poems read by Helena Sinervo.
Reijo Kela is one of Finland’s best-known and most original contemporary dancers. He is also a choreographer and performance artist. Kela has worked as a free artist for almost his entire career. At Annikki Poetry Festival, he will be performing together with poet J.K. Ihalainen.
J.K. Ihalainen is a poet, writer, publisher and translator. Since his first publication in 1978, he has published 35 books of poetry as well as several poetry albums. He is also known as one of Finland’s most frequently performing poets. Ihalainen is the Artistic Director of Annikki Poetry Festival. At this year’s festival, he will be performing together with dancer Reijo Kela.
Mikko Sarvanne Hip Company & Jussi Pelkonen
Consisting of about a dozen promising jazz musicians, the Helsinki-based Mikko Sarvanne Hip Company joined forces with the young poet Jussi Pelkonen last year. The collaboration struck a chord immediately. Such a combination was previously unheard of in Finland, and they have already given some ecstatic performances. They have also recorded a joint album, which is coming out this spring.
Ville Pirinen is a comic artist, visual artist, scriptwriter and musician. With his diverse artistic talent, Pirinen was a self-evident choice as this year’s Poetry Festival Artist – after all, the theme is cross-arts performances. Pirinen is one of Finland’s most highly-esteemed comic artists.
Mustat Silmät is a band offering a unique combination of accordion jazz, Slavic melancholy, Romani sounds and American rhythm and blues. The exceptionally charismatic vocalist Jori Kalliola and the band’s unpolished swinging sounds will win listeners over in no time.
Having published four novels, Katja Kettu is one of Finland’s most internationally successful writers. Her third novel Kätilö (The Midwife) has achieved great critical and commercial success. Translation rights for the novel have been sold to dozens of countries. A film based on the novel premiered last year.
Laura Lindstedt is a writer and literature researcher living in Helsinki. Her novel Oneiron was published last year and went on to win Finland’s most important literary prize, the Finlandia Prize. Combining many kinds of materials and styles, Oneiron has reached an exceptionally wide literary audience in spite of its challenging nature