What is the Poetry Ride?

The Poetry Ride is a multilingual poetry tour with a goal of promoting poetry translations. The ability of poetry to reach out to the people and touch their hearts doesn't depend on the language it is written in. Translators are needed, so the poems could reach the audience that doesn’t understand the language the poems are born into. The Poetry Ride celebrates the translation and translators of poetry.

All the performances in the Poetry Ride are multilingual: the poems are read in the original language as well as to the main language of the place of the performance. Languages are very dear to us. Therefore we want to find the best possible translators to the poems read during the Poetry Ride. This enables the listeners to enjoy both the hearing image and the good translation of the poems.

The Poetry Ride is a series of public events. It is also a networking opportunity for poets. One of the best ways to get to know people is to travel with them. During the trip together the poetry riders get to know each other as persons as well as writers. The relationships formed during the ride bear fruit even after years.

The core of the Poetry Ride is mobility. It is not tied to a time or a place. The route and timing change every year, as do the participants. In many occasions there have been representatives of other art forms, such as music, photography or poetry, travelling with the riders. The Poetry Ride is open to all ideas promoting the prosperity of poetry translation!


Who organizes the Poetry Ride?

The idea was born in 2006 in the cooperation of the Finnish Institute in Estonia and the Latvian embassy in Tallinn. The Finnish Institute in Estonia has been the main organizer of the Poetry Ride ever since. During the years many new partners have joined the ride. In 2006-2010 the Poetry Ride travelled in Finland, Estonia and Latvia. In 2011 Sweden joined in. After enjoying Swedish hospitality we decided to include a fourth country in the tour.

The staff of  of the Poetry Ride consists of artistic director, Latvian poet and translator Guntars Godiņš and Jenni Kallionsivu, a Finnish festival manager. There are several other partners working with the Poetry Ride. Their support and fresh ideas have made the Ride what it is today.


Where has the Poetry Ride been? And with whom?

2006: Pärnu – Riga

Heli Laaksonen, Elo Viiding, Contra, Inga Gaile and Karlis Verdinš


2007: Ventspils – Kuressaare – Turku

Saila Susiluoto, A. W. Yrjänä, Andres Ehin, Ly Seppel, Juris Kronbergs, Guntars Godinš


2008: Helsinki – Kajaani – Võru – Valka – Alkas

Anja Erämaja, Claes Andreson, Eeva Park, Karl Martin Sinijärv, Agnese Krivade, Eduards Aivars


2009: Tampere – Tartu – Cēsis – Riga

Vilja-Tuulia Huotarinen, Ville Hytönen, Andra Teede, Kivisildnik, Anna Ausiņa, Jānis Elsbergs  
guitarist Tiit Pettersson


2010: Riia – Valmiera – Viljandi – Oulu

Riina Katajavuori, Jyrki Kiiskinen, Triin Soomets, fs, Ingmara Balode, Arvis Viguls


2011: Helsinki – Visby – Stockholm – Tallinn – Liepaja

Agneta Enckell, Igor Kotjuh, Valts Ernštreits, Rose-Marie Huuva
photographer Alisa Javits


2012: Riga – Stockholm – Tallinn – Hämeenlinna

Jukka Itkonen, Leelo Tungal, Juris Kronbergs, Daniel Boyacioglu                                                        

comics artist Petri Koikkalainen


2013: Tartu

Heli Laaksonen, Guntars Godinš, Contra, Jan Rahman


2014: Daugavpils  – Tartu  – Joensuu  – Tromsø

Jan Kaus, Miia Toivio, Kārlis Vērdiņš, Gunnar Wærness


2016: Zvejniekciems – Limbaži – Talsi – Saldus – Kuldīga – Riga

Heli Laaksonen, Leelo Tungal, Inese Zandere


2018: Talinn – Tartu – Elva – Võru 

Heli Laaksonen, Ieva Samauska, Leelo Tungal with Contra and Jan Rahman