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Oodi invites you to celebrate the diversity of poetry


Central Library Oodi brings light to November in Helsinki by inviting citizens of all ages to the Book Fest on Saturday 18 November 2023. Organised for the second time, the Book Fest examines contemporary poetry and the history of poetry in its many forms. The recipient of the Oodi poet of the year award will be selected for the first time.

The discussions will take a look at Finnish modernist poets Helvi Hämäläinen and Mirkka Rekola. The sense in the work of a poet is sought with contemporary poets. The fest will end with a multilingual open mic and a performance by the Vilma Jää duo, which combines folk music with pop.

‘Poetry is the queen of literature, exploring the future. Poetry is written and performed a lot, but it its still too seldom read and known. The Oodi Book Fest looks at poetry from a variety of perspectives, providing familiar surfaces for a variety of audiences. Poetry is for everyone! We also wish to highlight the conditions of the work of a poet: poetry won’t provide a living, but fortunately, there are people who live for poetry,’ says information specialist Niina Holm.

Programme for all age groups

The Oodi Book Fest opens with fascinating performances by Puppet Theatre Sampo in Maijansali Hall on the first floor. The programme for children and families continues in the children’s area event facility on the third floor with the Runoropinat workshop.

The discussions organised on the Pertti Saarikoski Art Rug on the third floor feature Suvi Ahola, Jonimatti Joutsijärvi, Taneli Leonora Viljanen, Mathias Rosenlund, Sanna Karlström, and Miika Osamitsu. The open mic starts with visiting poets Tania Nathan and Kihwa-Endale, after whom the microphone is open for texts by anyone in the audience.

Ethnic pop artist Vilma Jää combines centuries-old stories with electronic music in Maijansali Hall. Vilma Jää, who will publish her debut album at the end of October, is accompanied by Mimi Kantola.

Poetry review site Runografi is presented at the poetry book exhibition on the third floor. You can vote for the most beautiful and most interesting poetry book cover in the lobby.

The recipient of the Oodi poet of the year award will be selected for the first time

The recipient of the Oodi poet of the year award will be published for the first time at the Book Fest. The award will be granted to an individual, act of poetry, or collective for significant work for Finnish poetry. The poetry of the selected author(s) can be seen and heard in Oodi throughout 2024.

The recipient of the award is chosen by a board consisting of library and literature professionals, whose members are brought together by work at the Central Library Oodi. From now on, the award will be given annually.

The event is free and open to all. Welcome!

The entire programme of the Oodi Book Fest (in Finnish)

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