Baltic Humanoids

Baltic Humanoids was initially intended as an event gathering writers living in the Nordics or in the Baltic area. Organised by NOXLit (Sweden) and Sivuvalo (Finland), it was slated to take place at Oodi, Helsinki’s Central Library. The focus was the symbolic function of bodies, animals, and landscapes in poetry, as new modes of social critique and of describing an ongoing planetary transformation.

As with so many other events this year, the Oodi reading was cancelled due to the pandemic. The grief of the cancellation could not hinder, however, our excitement about these topics and authors. A one-time reading grew into a series of interviews and translations, which intends to showcase these and other poets to a non-Finnish speaking public, and to bring to Finland new voices and aesthetics, which might resonate with current debates here. 

The series’s intent is to present the silent revolution that is renovating the relations between big old concepts, like nature and culture, human and animal, living and inert, beauty and ugliness, mind and body, the self and the other. 

NOXLit is supported by Nordisk kulturfond and Nordisk kulturkontakt.

The authors

Kati Neuvonen (Finland), author of Naku (Poesia, 2009). A sample of Neuvonen’s eerie, intimate poetry is available in the Finnish original, an English translation, and a Spanish translation.

Saad Hadi (Iraq/Finland), is a journalist and writer, whose most recent releases are the novel The Sultans of Ash (2014) and the short story collection, Blackens (2019).  Hadi’s short story A Maze— featured in English translation—is a whirling, rhizomatic glimpse into contemporary solipsism.

Sini Silveri (Finland) is the author of Titaanidisko (Poesia, 2020), a Surrealist raid into nature and the urbanized landscapes of contemporary Finland. The poet gave us an interview (“Paths in the Cyborg Wilderness“), and three poems are featured in this series, along with translations into English and Spanish.

Hamdam Zakirov (Uzbekistan / Finland) is the author of several books of poetry in Russian, translated to several languages. A winding exploration of ancient and hyper-contemporary symbols, Zakirov’s poetry concentrates meaningfulness through supple syntax and a dexterous use of enjambment. Rodrigo García Bonillas translated into Spanish four poems from Zakirov’s Kaukana mereltä (2016, ntamo).