Festival Guide: Poetry Moon in Finland

Poetry Moon is a literature festival based in Helsinki, Finland, which will be held from 21st  to 27th August 2015 – this is in two weeks,  crowdies!

What is special about the festival is the diversity of the events and approaches  ranging from events for children to a poetry marathon up to poetry as “fire prevention”. It is a festival aiming at assembling new and other ways of presentation of and participation in literature. Radiophonic collages, creative writing and improvisation or poetry swallowed up by it all: the picture, sound, movement, smell, taste, touch. I would say: get your suitcases ready!

by Laura Serkosalo and Julia Schiefer

This year the festival will be held for the 11th time. It is the oldest literature festival in Helsinki and one of the biggest literary happenings in Finland, gathering around 10 000 guests every year. This year’s festival will be held in very  diverse locations around the city of Helsinki and it connects different artists and audiences.

© Nuoren Voiman Liitto
© Nuoren Voiman Liitto

Every year the festival focuses loosely on a certain theme, and this year the theme is: Journey.

Poetry Moon introduces literature in new ways, combined with other arts or suggesting other ways to experience it.  For one evening you can turn into a Pinocchio celebrating your long nose by overwriting hard facts into a great story, the other day  it is a transitional poetic reading in the railway. Poetry Moon even dares to go back to kitschy forms and cliches, readressing them, like writing poetry while being at an star observatory reflecting on the stars, the human condition, space – and the human heart. Please check out the English program for Poetry Moon.

Poetry Moons main guest in 2015 is the Pulitzer-winning author Rae Armantrout, one of the founding members of the West Coast group of Language poets in the US. The festival will also host several other international guests, for example the Dagestanian author Fazir Mualim at Gloria nights and a German poet Kerstin Preiwuß.

In addition to international guests there are of course plenty of Finnish performers — the festival program presents altogether about 250 Finnish artists: prose writers, poets, nonfiction authors, translators, musicians, actors, dancers, rappers and circus artists.

© Nuoren Voiman Liitto
© Nuoren Voiman Liitto

Poetry Moon offers for the visitors the opportunity to read one’s favorite book for the audience, to take part in workshops or to jam in a club a prose band playing on the stage.

Overall, Poetry Moon has over 40 events this year. All festival events are free of charge and easy to access. The whole festival program can be found from Poetry Moon’s website.

Poetry Moon is organized by a non-profit literature organization Nuoren Voiman Liitto.

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