Literary Awards 2003

by Piret Viires

The 2003 Cultural Award of the Republic of Estonia for Outstanding Lifetime Achievement was given to the literary figure Vello Salo.

The Estonian Cultural Endowment’s major annual award went to Toomas Liiv for his collection of poetry “Poems 1968–2002”. The book offers an overview of Liiv’s work over the years; his poetry is keen to experiment and has a taste of the grotesque.

Among the most prestigious annual literary awards are the genre awards given by the Literature Foundation of the Estonian Cultural Endowment.  In 2003 these were:
Prose award went to Nikolai Baturin for his novel "The Centaur”. This is a grand-scale allegorical novel, and Nikolai Baturin with his oeuvre (the most famous novel is his The Bear’s Heart) occupies a special place in Estonian literature.

Asko Künnap was awarded for his poetry collection "And the Lizards replied...". Asko Künnap belongs to our younger generation of poets who is a synthesis of a writer and an artist. “The Lizards” stands out as a remarkable typographical work of art.

The best essays were written by Toomas Raudam in his book “You” that tackles Marcel Proust and James Joyce.

The drama award went to Mati Unt for his plays “Brother Antigone, Mother Oedipus”, “Style, or what id the World Called” and “The Island of Flies”.

 Katrin Reimus was considered the best children’s author of last year, with her novel for young adults “Dance of the Fairies”.

The award from translating from a foreign language into Estonian was given to Jaak Rähesoo for James Joyce’s “Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man” and “Exiles”.

Eric Dickens was awarded for his translation from Estonian into English of Jaan Kross’s novel “Treading Air” that was published by the British publishing house Harvill. This is a remarkable achievement as Estonian literature is translated into English only rarely.

Arne Merilai received the article award for his piece “Estonian Ballad”, published as an epilogue to the anthology “Estonian Ballad”. A special award of literature in Russian was given to Marina Tervonen for her poetry collection “Across the River” that was published both in Estonian and Russian.

The 2003 debut award or the Betti Alver went to the young writer Erkki Luuk for his experimental work of literature, "Ornithologist’s Commencement”.

The Tuglas short story awards were awarded to the young writer Lauri Pilter for his story "The Double" (magazine Vikerkaar no 12 2003) and Ilmar Jaks of the older generation for his short story “Armer Adolf" (collection "Darkness").

The 2003 Albu parish literary Tammsaare award was given to Rein Veidemann’s novel "Orphanage".

The Eduard Vilde literary award of the Vinni parish went to Eeva Park and her novel “A Trap in Eternity”.

    The 2003 award of Nukits competition (children’s literature) were won by writer Janno Põldma and artist Heiki Ernits with their book “The Ladybirds’ Christmas”.

    Karl Eduard Sööt’s children’s poetry award went to Jaanus Vaiksoo’s book “Watchmakers’ Wife”.

Our cultural weekly Sirp, together with the Estonian Railways, established a new literary award. The first winners were Andres Vanapa’s poetry collection “The Rascal’s Whistle” and Kristiina Ehin’s collection “St Simon’s Day”.