[ Suomi ]

Sivuvalo is a group of writers and translators gathered around an aesthetic experience of the Baltic sea. Freaks, cronopios, hirviöt, Sivuvalo hosts authors that tap the density and displacement of language, the glossy bleakness of everyday life, the party after the cataclysm. We promote Finnish literature abroad and pull immigrant writers from under their invisibility cloaks. Sivuvalo scouts for literature that grapples with the present.

On the outskirts of Europe, flanked by the narratives of Chernobyl to the East and Mad Max to the West, we are terraforming the cities and marmorializing the forests. We were born in Joensuu, in Lima, in Saint Petersburg, in Bagdad, in Ciudad Juárez. We embark in a pursuit of doubt, in the appeal of the complex and the idiotic. Born or immigrated, gregarious or loners, we look for writers that trust the sensory, yet acknowledge the asymptotic nature of experience. The mind is monstruous, language is inadequate: let’s build a house.  

Our struggle is against idyllic beauty, against the immediate gratification of mass media, the etherizing effect of didactic art. Neck-deep in planetary dysphoria, we find answers in the patient craft of poetry, of oblique narration. Neck-deep in an era of literalism and hot topics, we focus on the invisible relations between words, the dissonance between an idea and its verbal embodiment. Landscape poetry maps the psyche, sex robot stories evince the state of the collective spirit, anecdotes of war-time plunder hide in the remarks about incoming weather. Neck-deep in the hegemony of the image, we turn to the factory of the text.

We pursue literature from all cultures and tribes yet know literature at its best transcends the writer’s identity. We reflect about the meaning of translating Finnish, about the implications of using Russian or Spanish, yet we understand poetry to be something beyond the confines of language. On the ruins of utopia and avantgarde, we build new breathing spaces. To sound our brand-new world in crisis, we write the steaming seaweed on the coastline.