This year the Finnish Government Prize for Translation of Finnish Literature – worth € 10,000 – was awarded to the poet, translator, linguist and literary critic Rami Saari who translates into Hebrew.
Saari (born 1963) has studied and taught Hebrew, Semitic languages and Finno-Ugric Language Studies at universities in Helsinki, Budapest and Jerusalem. He has been the editor of the Israeli section of the international poetry website poetryinternational.org since 2002 and has edited a book series for Ha-kibbutz hameuchad which publishes predominantly Nordic and Baltic literature.
Saari, who has also published seven collections of his own poetry, now lives in Athens. He has also translated Albanian, Spanish, Catalan, Greek, Portuguese, Hungarian and Estonian fiction.
Among the Finnish writers Saari has translated are Daniel Katz, Eeva Kilpi, Eino Leino, Veijo Meri, Timo K. Mukka, Sofi Oksanen, Arto Paasilinna, Raija Siekkinen, Eeva Tikka, Sirkka Turkka and Mika Waltari.
Rami Saari received his award in Helsinki on 25 August from the minister of culture and sports, Stefan Wallin. The prize has been awarded by the Ministry of Education and Culture since 1975 on the basis of a recommendation from FILI – Finnish Literature Exchange.