Literary awards 2002

by Piret Viires


The 2002 Cultural Award of the Republic of Estonia for Outstanding Lifetime Achievement was given to the writer Hando Runnel.
In 2002 the Literary Award of the Baltic Assembly  went to an Estonian author. The recipient was the playwright and actor Jaan Tätte for his plays “Bridge” and “Happy Everyday!”
In connection with the 125th anniversary of Anton Hansen Tammsaare, the Tammsaare Novel Award was created, to be given to the best Estonian novel of the last five years. The jury chose Andrus Kivirähk’s novel The Old Barny.
The major poetry award of the Estonian Cultural Endowment in 2002 went to Aleksander Suuman’s poetry collection Worms of the Ghost Horse with Seaweed, which presents poems written between 1927 and 2002.
Among the most prestigious annual literary awards are the genre awards issued by the Literature Foundation of the Estonian Cultural Endowment. In 2002 these were awarded as follows.
The prose award went to Jüri Ehlvest for his collection of short stories A Horse from Nowhere.
Karl Martin Sinijärv received the poetry award for his Artutart & 39.
The collection of plays by Vaino Vahing, Games and Conversations, was deemed worthy of the drama award.
The award for children’s literature went to Heino Kiik’s Chapped Feet, based on his childhood memories and reminiscent of Friedebert Tuglas’s Little Illimar.
The artist Peeter Mudist received an award for his essays gathered in the collection The Knight’s Move.
The award for translating from a foreign language into Estonian went to Mati Sirkel for the short stories of Franz Kafka, published in a bulky collection under the title Building the Wall of China: all shorter and short stories.
 The award for translating Estonian literature into a foreign language (Via Estica) went to Antoine Chalvin.  In 2002 Antoine Chalvin translated two works of Estonian literature into French: Jaan Kaplinski’s collection of poetry  Le désir de la pousière : poèmes, and an anthology of Estonian short story, Les hirondelles: anthologie de nouvellles estoniennes contemporaines.
        For the second year, besides the usual genre awards, the literature foundation of the Estonian Cultural Endowment gave an award for the best article. The winner this time was Tõnu Õnnepalu’s article “When… Maturing. Two poems and one book by Aleksander Suuman (In Hyperborea)”, published in the magazine Looming no. 5 2002.
A special award was issued for a work of fiction in the Russian language. This went to Mikhail Veller’s literary output, which has made him among the most widely read authors in Russia. In 2002 Veller published the novel Zero Hour, both in Russian and in Estonian translation.
        The 2002 Debut, or Betti Alver Literary, Award was this year split between two authors. The winners were Leo Kunnas with his book of prose Servant of the Soldier God and Ülar Ploom and his collection of poetry One and All.
        In 2002 yet another novel competition ended. The first prize was given to the well-known writer Nikolai Baturin’s massive novel Centaur, which can be seen as an example of “magical realism”. Indrek Hargla received the second award for his pseudo-historical fantasy novel The Highest Measure of Freedom. The third prize was awarded to the prominent Estonian painter Enn Põldroos for his philosophical novel Striped Stone, which describes in a mature style the thoughts of an ageing man mixed with his memories of his younger days.
The 2002 Albu Parish Literary Award was given to the prominent Tammsaare scholar Elem Treier for his book Tammsaare’s Life as Mr Hansen.
Doris Kareva’s collection of poetry Mandragora received the 2002 Eduard Vilde Literary Award (awarded by Vinni Parish). 
Additionally, two Friedebert Tuglas short story awards were given to the best story writers. The fortunate two this year were Jüri Ehlvest for his short story "Horse from Nowhere" (which appeared under the name of Ürgar Helves in Looming no. 1 2002), and Jaan Undusk for his story “Love for a Book” (published in the book Touch, Tartu University Library, 2002).
The Juhan Liiv Poetry Award is given to an outstanding poem published for the first time the previous year. The poem closest to Liiv’s spirit in 2002 was Andres Ehin’s “deep under ground live the birds...”

Piret Viires