Ave Alavainu

About Ave Alavainu


Ave Alavainu (4 October 1942 – 3 April 2022) was a poet and prose writer.

Alavainu was born in Tartu and studied Estonian philology at Tallinn Pedagogical Institute and Tartu State University. She also studied acting at the drama studio of the Vanemuine theatre. She worked as a journalist, teacher, supervisor of a school theatre and instructor of hobby groups. She was a member of the Estonian Association of Journalists (1974–1987) and the Estonian Writers’ Union (from 1987 to her death). From 1997, Alavainu was chairperson of the Ave Vita non-profit association which was an active promoter of cultural life in the town of Kärdla in Hiiumaa Island. For leading of Ave Vita, she received the folk culture endowment annual award of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia in 1998.

Alavainu published poetry in the press from the 1960s. Alavainu’s creation includes poems on nature and emotions mixed with temperament and colourful images that are characteristically hers. Formal experiments can be found in the collections Laulud laialilaotamiseks (‘Songs for Spreading Out’, 2002) and Joonlaualaulud (‘Ruler Songs’, 2012). Her poetic creation is gathered into the book with an afterword, Koondatud (‘Converged’, 2014). 50:50: elueklektika (‘50:50: Eclecticism of Life’, 2016) is a symbiosis of a poetry collection and a biographical book.

Alavainu also published prose. Kes meist on Napoleon? (‘Who of Us Is Napoleon?’, 1987), defined as an “autopathological novel in letters”, concentrates on a middle-aged woman’s introspection using the symbolism of dreams. Prügimägi (‘Garbage Dump’, 1995), which deserved honorary mention at the novel competition of the Faatum publishing company, deals with the theme of the provincial writer.

Ave Alavainu was simultaneously a popular author whose books were widely read and the influencer and mentor of several poets. She was connected with Hiiumaa Island from the 1970s and made an essential contribution to its cultural life.

In 2006, Alavainu received the Order of the White Star, class V, and in 2014 the title of the Honorary Citizen of Hiiumaa parish.

A. K. (Translated by I. A.)

Books in Estonian

Poetry collections
Väga väike värsiraamat: ühe aasta luulet. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1973, 60 lk
Mul on vaid sõnad. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1977, 72 lk
Veel üks võimalus. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1982, 62 lk
Hiiumaal. 1. vihik. Luuletusi 1976-1992. Kärdla: Hiiukoda, 1992, 55 lk
Laulud laialilaotamiseks. Tallinn: Design Management, 2002, 56 lk
Minekulaulud. Habaja: Kentaur, 2005, 239 lk
Sutsakad. Kärdla, Tallinn: A. Alavainu, 2010, 84 lk
Joonlaualaulud. Kärdla: Ave Vita!, 2012, 49 lk
Vaid ühel hetkel. Kärdla: Pelagis, 2013, 72 lk
Koondatud. Habaja: Kentaur, 2014, 352 lk
Sündinud aprillis. Kärdla: Ave Vita!, 2015, 30 lk
50:50: elueklektika. Tallinn: Ajakirjade Kirjastus, 2016, 206 lk
Kõrtsilaulud: joomamehe põueraamat. Kärdla: Ave Vita!, 2017, 59 lk
Sündinud novembris. Tallinn: A. Alavainu, 2020, 25 lk

Kes meist on Napoleon?. Autopatoloogiline romaan kirjades. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1987, 125 lk
Prügimägi. Tallinn: Faatum, 1995, 148 lk

Short prose
Rong katusel: valik proosat. Habaja: Kentaur, 2008, 311 lk
Harilik seep: raamjutustus. Kärdla: A. Alavainu, 2011, 130 lk

Children’s books
Seitse lugu inimesekssaamise teelt. Kärdla: A. Alavainu, 2006, 12 lk

Arstiks kuue päevaga. 3. vihik. Ekstrasensside kursustest. Kärdla: A. Alavainu, 1995, 37 lk
Müstika ja meditsiin. Habaja: Kentaur, 2009, 104 lk
50:50: elueklektika. Tallinn: Ajakirjade Kirjastus, 2016, 206 lk