Karl Martin Sinijärv

Karl Martin Sinijärv is one of the more colourful figures among poets of the younger generation. Born in 1971 in Tallinn, he graduated from the University of Tartu in Estonian philology. Combining the role of poet, showman, journalist and gourmet, Karl Martin offers the world surprises both in print and when appearing in public. Karl Martin Sinijärv was recognised as a child prodigy when he published his first collection of poems at the early age of 17. The poems were regarded as mature for someone of his age and the poet went on to tread the paths of poetic power.
Over the years, his poetry has become more intense and subtle. At the beginning of his career, Sinijärv joined the Ethnofuturists, a movement that combined archaic content with futurist form. There were clear allusions to avant-garde poetry from the early 20th century - Futurism and Surrealism. Alongside his experiments with puns and language experiments, Karl Martin has also written lyrical love poems, which show the romantic troubadour side of him, and these poems are shot through with an element of masochistic self-irony. There is never rest in Karl Martin's poetry, but there is a longing for it, a longing for freedom. In the most recent collections, which have been appearing since 1997, a certain change has taken place. His poetry has become more personal, treating more everyday themes. Now a weariness or even nostalgia has replaced the intertextual games and mood of revolt of the period of transition. In Sinijärv's collection Artutart & 39 (2002) the contours have crystallised, his intrinsic wordplay has taken on a more charming aspect. This collection was awarded the Poetry Award of the Estonian Cultural Endowment for the year 2002.
Sinijärv has one quote that will, no doubt survive: "I'm bloodywell going to survive over time". In this grey country, it is perhaps surprising that someone comes up with such an honest truth.

Sinijärv has participated in several playful collective poetry publications: in Kaardipakk (Deck of Cards, 2001), together with four well-known young poets (alongside him Triin Soomets, Asko Künnap, Elo Viiding and Jürgen Rooste) and the sequel of it, Kaardipakk Kaks (Deck of Cards II, 2006). He was one of the poets to publish his poetry in the collection of postcards with poems entitled Kaamose kiuste (Despite the Polar Night, 2004).
Sinijärv is together with the journalist Jüri Pino the author of a novel for boys and men, Sigalahe suvi (One Awesome Summer, 2005). In 2010 Sinijärv published, together with Asko Künnap and Jürgen Rooste, the collection Eesti haiku (Estonian Haiku), where a new genre was introduced: instead of the usual haiku form a pattern of 4-6-4 is used to suit the rhythm of the Estonian language, corresponding also to the syllables in the names of the three poets.
2007-2016, Karl Martin Sinijärv was the chairman of the Estonian Writers´ Union.


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