“As a non-commercial venue for events and meetings, the library is second to none. Equality and inclusiveness are at the heart of library operations. We are also looking to cherish diversity through our literary events. The Book Heaven project allows us to focus on the perspectives of various groups, explore different concepts and develop our literary events to attract new audiences to reading,” says Niina Holm, Project Manager at the Book Heaven project.
The event series, launching in January 2023, focus on the history, future and diversity of literature. In the series ‘Hurmeen klassikot’ (classics by Hurme), author and director Juha Hurme scrutinises his selection of Finnish literature classics together with changing guests. In the first event of the series, Hurme teams up with Rosa Liksom, a living legend of Finnish literature. His other guests include Sally Salminen, Runar Schildt and Samuli Paulaharju.
Translated literature and translating as work are also discussed in the events, as well as Helsinki residents who speak, for example, Sámi and Estonian. Cooperation with Tallinn Central Library brings together “two-city authors” who travel back and forth the Gulf of Finland, either physically or mentally.
The events, mainly organised at Oodi, also shed light on more marginal literary genres and phenomena, such as poetry of things combining literature, art and technology, song lyrics, cover art and illustrations.
“Literature is so much more than just traditional paper books, and it is our goal to highlight this diversity in the events of the Book Heaven project. For example, the workshops led by poet Susinukke Kosola view literature through technology. You can print out poetry using a 3D printer,” Niina Holm says.
Book Heaven -events in Oodi:
Photo: Maarit Hohteri / City of Helsinki