Mirjam Parve (Estonia)

Mirjam Parve was born in Tartu, grew up in Tallinn, came to Tartu to study semiotics and translation studies, and stayed here after graduating from university. She translates, writes, and edits the translation and diary section of Värske Rõhk, darns socks for principle, beauty, and peace of mind, grows crocuses and hyacinths on the window sill, wears moss on her back, and gradually tries to fear life and herring heads less. Her favourite and parasite word is “but”. In 2023, her first poetry collection “Varjukeha” (“Shadow Body”) was published, which won the Betti Alver debut Prize and was also nominated for the Cultural Endowment’s poetry prize. She is the 2022 recipient of the Juhan Liiv Prize and a Siuru scholarship holder.

“Literature is a place where one can dwell in complexity: there’s no need to tally up pluses, minuses, cents, and grams on an accountant’s ledger, or resolve contradictions. And yet, a sentence can also be decisively clear and simple like a flash of lightning. Both are necessary to be human. And within that contradiction, one can also dwell. And not turn away one’s eyes. These possibilities seem ethically and aesthetically vital lately. (But one personal ethical-aesthetic beacon for me is also Toomas Liiv’s thought that Hando Runnel’s children’s poem “Piglife” would ‘serve as an ethical-aesthetic beacon for adults too’.)”

Photo: Mirjam Parve
Photo: Ruudu Rahumaru

Literature With Spark: an evening of young authors