I was born in 1961 in the industrial city of Tampere, Finland. I was brought up in the family of a post officer and a Karelian war refugee. I had four elder brothers, so I learned how to fight and climb trees. Now I live in Helsinki with my daughter, and I work as a independent writer.
I studied music at the Conservatoire, and earned my living as a piano teacher until I took to literature, after years of literary studies at the universities of Helsinki and Paris. Avaruusruusuja (Space Roses, 2014) and Merveli (Merveli, 2018) are the latest of my eleven books of poems, and a large selection of my poetry (Valitut runot, Selected Poems) came out in 2011. My poems are translated into 28 languages.
The most recent of my three novels, Armonranta (The Grace Shore), was published in 2016. With the first, Runoilijan talossa (In the House of the Poet, 2004) I won the Finlandia Prize for the best novel, the most appreciated literary acknowledgement in Finland. I was also awarded the Dancing Bear Award by the Finnish National Broadcasting Company for the best book of poetry with Ihmisen kaltainen (Like a Human Being) in 2001 and Väärän lajin laulut (Songs of the Wrong Species) in 2011.
For children I have published a set of two novels (Patarania 2012, 2013) and a poetry book (2007).
Along the years I have also gained recognition as a literary essayist, a teacher of creative writing, and a translator of poetry. I have translated works from Yves Bonnefoy, Elizabeth Bishop, Stéphane Mallarmé, and many others. Besides this, I have participated in many international programs and festivals, such as the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa (1994), Festival Les Boréales (Caën, France, 2001), Le Marché de la poésie (Paris, France, 2007), FIC (Festival Internacional Cervantino, Guanajuato, Mexico 2011), Ars Poetica (Bratislava, Slovakia, 2013), and FIP (Festival Internacional de Poesia, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2017).
Some translations of my work
Prins Sludvig og tronstolens hemmelighed (Turbino, Denmark 2016)
VERSschmuggel/SäkeenVERSoja: Finnisch-und deutschsprachige Gedichte (Wunderhorn/Poesia, Germany 2014)
Gedichte aus Finnland: Poesiealbum - Sonderheft (Märkischer Verlag , Germany 2014)
Snubblar till upprätt läge (Ellips, Finland 2014)
German translations from Avaruusruusuja (2014) on Lyrikline website
Proyectos para un cielo nuevo. Poesía Nórdica Contemporánea (Práctica Mortal, México 2011)
Trois poètes finlandais (Le Murmure Editions, France 2011)
The Other Side of Landscape: An Anthology of Contemporary Nordic Poetry (Slope Editions, New York 2006)
De Habla la luz con voz de corneja. Antología de poesía finlandesa actual. (Conaculta, México 2003)
Les chaises (Club Zéro, France 2001)
Selected poems from my first three collections in seven languages on Electric Verses website