One is a CROWD – Katariina Vuorinen

Literature as a European mother tongue: In our series “One is a CROWD”, we introduce you to authors from all over Europe who will be involved in the CROWD omnibus reading tour, taking place from May to July 2016, featuring 100 authors who will be travelling through 15 European countries. We asked them questions about text production, reception and mediation. In case you were wondering what a literary activist from Hämeenlinna looks like, meet Katariina Vuorinen!

Do you see yourself as an author? Are you the originator and main authority of your text? If not, who is, if anyone at all?

I see myself as an author, the text comes alive through me and both the conscious and subconscious poetic chambers and doorways of the gray and white matter of my brain. On the other hand I feel like a mediator when through observing and remembering the paths walked, longings, wisdoms, phenomena and jumps of the heart, pictures, rhythms and words appear and arrange themselves. And then I carry on the meticulous work. But defining who is to own anything, or concepts of author(ity) and original, for example, is a matter of a flowing conversation – better led outside, under the trees, in the dusk of a spring night.

Have you ever participated in collaborative author/reader projects? If so, what do you find interesting about them?

I have participated in several projects with artists from various fields, and it is actually one of my most favorite things in this work. Bringing creative processes together, combining poetry with music, drawing, glass, cartoon or something else brings up ideas and currents which would have never occured, not to mention flourished and come alive as a piece or act of art, if one had worked alone. One of the latest experiences of this was a project called ”Metamorphosis” with artist Elsa Salonen, when we created a space of poetry and drawing at the Turku Bookfair in October 2015. We applied certain methods to provoke each other’s work, as we wanted to break out from the simple pattern of drawing based on writing or writing based on drawing. Working like that awakes a certain magic. And joy – that is what cooperation means to me. I have also written texts with another writer and then performed them together, and it has been special too in that shared consciousness it creates. More is yet to come.

What is your favorite literary spot in…? (literary venue, bar, meeting spot etc.)

My favorite literary and bohemian spot is Bar Vakiopaine in Jyväskylä. When you have a good poetry evening (or any type of artistic evening) there, it’s a combination of high and low in a communicative way which brings the people together. As an old literary activist from Central Finland, I’ve had the joy of arranging and participating in many jolly events with people there.

Which literary event fascinated you most and why? (Please give a link to the website of the event)

I have been fascinated how various literary events created by Keski-Suomen kirjailijat ry, The Writers’ Association of Central Finland, have turned out so unique and vividly inspiring. From children’s literature days to the first prose reading event in the country and poetry evenings combining experimental and more traditional aspects in an exploratory attitude. And it keeps happening, in Jyväskylä and in Bar Vakiopaine, for example. I’m also very fond of Runoviikko (Poetry Week): it has an international yet originally Finnish (or should I rather say crazy northern) approach, which results in an inventive festival of poetry. Their peculiar and intense performers and clubs light up the stages like bright torches in the middle of the gloomiest time of the year, November. Highly recommended!

Photo: Marko Niemi

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