Indrek Hirv (born 15. XII 1956) is an Estonian poet, translator and artist.
He was born at Kohila into an artistic family – his mother was a graphic artist and his father a painter.
He attended primary school number 10 and secondary school number 1 in Tartu, and in 1981 he graduated in ceramics at the State Art Institute of the Estonian SSR. He has worked at the children’s art school and the art museum in Tartu. In 1988 he established the Konrad Mägi Studio of the Tartu Art Association and was its first director. In his own artistic creation he has cultivated painting on porcelain, oil-painting and graphic design, and taken part in both one-man and group exhibitions at home and abroad. Among other works he has illustrated the Sulesepad ('Pensmiths') almanac of Tartu secondary school number 1 (1974) and Hasso Krull’s second poetry collection Pihlakate meri ('Sea of Rowan-trees', 1988) and made vignettes for his own collections.
He has lived in Tallinn and Tartu mainly as a freelance artist. He spent some years in the Netherlands (1989-1991), where he worked as a correspondent for Radio Free Europe, and in Germany (2005-2006).
He is a member of the Estonian Artists’ Union (since 1985), the Estonian Writers’ Union (since 1991) and the Estonian Students’ Society (since 2009), and has joined the Tartu Young Authors’ Association (NAK) and the Wellesto literary group.
Alongside his artistic activity he has continuously written poetry. He published his first verses in 1980; the first collection, Uneraev ('Sleep-rage'), which was regarded as one of the pioneering works of the poetic renewal of the time, in 1987. His poetry contains surrealistic, erotic and cultural-mythological elements, cosmic references and Christian symbolism.
Since 2000 he has produced prose, drama and essays, and has written a film script, Sinimustvalge needus ('The Blue-black-and-white Curse', 2009), and a concert production, Viimane tango 1944 – Pallase lõpp ('Last Tango 1944 – the End of Pallas', 2011).
He has translated French poetry - Prantsuse bukett ('A French Bouquet', poetry from 17th century, 2011), Baudelaire (Les Fleurs du Mal – Väikesed kurja lilled, 2000, with Ants Oras and August Sang). He has also translated verse by Hermann Hesse and the poetry of Alexander Pushkin, as well as religious texts with Vello Salo: the Gospel of St. Matthew, the songs of King David from the Hebrew, the Psalms from German and the Revelation of John from Greek.
With Ants Juske he has written texts for Rein Kelpman’s album of paintings (Kelpman, 2003) and compiled an anthology of Estonian Christian poetry, Lauluallikas ('The Source of Song', Maarjamaa, 2003), Kaalu Kirme’s poetry collection Vana valge ('The Old White One', 2005) and with Urmas Ott and Piret Pääsukene, a compilation of Marie Under’s works (2007).
In 1993 he was awarded the annual Estonian literature prize for the poetry collections Kuu vari ('Moon Shadow') and Võhumõõk ('Iris'), in 2006 the cultural weekly Sirp annual prize for the collection Surmapõletaja ('The Burner of Death'), and in 2010 the Gustav Suits Poetry Prize. In 2011 he was awarded the Order of the White Star, IV class.
Since autumn 2017 he has represented the Estonian Conservative People’s Party on Tartu City Council.
M. K. (Translated by C. M.)
Books in Estonian
Uneraev. Tallinn: Perioodika (Loomingu Raamatukogu), 1987, 40 lk.
Pimetrükk = Salapainos: valimata luuletusi ajavahemikust 1976-1987. Soomekeelse teksti tõlkinud R. Grünthal jt, eessõna: S. Kiin, autori illustratsioonid. Helsinki: 1988, 78 lk. [Rööptekst eesti ja soome keeles. Sari 'Estonia Raamatukogu', 1.]
Põueoda. Tallinn: Eesti Kostabi Selts, 1990, 69 lk.
Kuu vari. Tallinn: Vagabund, 1992, 125 lk.
Võhumõõk. Tallinn: Perioodika (Loomingu Raamatukogu), 1992, 48 lk.
Tähekerjus. Tallinn: etf, 1993, 70 lk.
Taskuraamat. Tartu: Elmatar, 1994, 16 lk.
Põuasinine. Tallinn: Perioodika (Loomingu Raamatukogu), 1996, 72 lk.
Kiviingel. Tartu, 1997, 64 lk.
Fuugamust. Tallinn: Perioodika (Loomingu Raamatukogu), 1998, 48 lk.
Pärlhall. Tallinn: Virgela, 1998, 96 lk.
Ööpäev: luulet 24 aastast tõlgete ja lehejuttude taustal. Järelsõna: Vaapo Vaher. Tallinn: Virgela, 2000, 400 lk.
Liblikate õhkkerge veri. Tallinn: Tänapäev, 2001, 72 lk.
Ülemlaul. Tallinn: Tänapäev, 2003, 112 lk.
Surmapõletaja. Tallinn: Tuum, 2006, 168 lk.
Veesilm. Tallinn: Tänapäev, 2009, 79 lk.
Ülalt valla. Tallinn: Maarjamaa, 2009, 104 lk.
Tiivavalu. Tartu: Ilmamaa, 2012, 120 lk.
Hingekiri. Tartu: Ilmamaa, 2013, 512 lk.
Kassitoome. Tartu: Ilmamaa, 2013, 71 lk.
Südasügis. Tartu: Ilmamaa, 2016, 96 lk.
Kuradisild. Tartu: Ilmamaa, 2016, 63 lk.
Inglisild. Ülo Soosteri joonistused. Tallinn: Varrak, 2016, 312 lk.
Toomemägi on Emajõgi. Tartu: Ilmamaa, 2016, 80 lk.
Hea poisi jutud. Tallinn: Tänapäev, 2002, 24 lk.
Rännuraamat. Koostanud ja toimetanud Kati Lindström. Tartu: EÜS Veljesto Kirjastus, 1996, 94 lk.
Klaaskübara all. Tartu: Ilmamaa, 2004, 168 lk. [Artiklid.]
Tartust Pariisi ja tagasi: rännakutest, kunstist ja möödanikust. Koostaja Kadri Asmer. Tallinn: Go Group, 2016, 238 lk.
Pauluse kiriku kellad. Tallinn: SE&JS, 2007, 54 lk.