Urve Karuks

About Urve Karuks


Urve Karuks (née Aasoja; 18 January 1936 – 18 July 2015) was an exile Estonian poet.

Karuks was born in Tallinn. In 1944, she fled to Germany where she lived at several refugee camps. From there, she emigrated to Toronto, Canada, where she studied at Jarvis Collegiate Institute and the University of Toronto. Karuks was a member of the Estonian Writers’ Union Abroad and the Estonian PEN-Club. She died in Toronto.

Karuks made her debut as a poet in the journal Mana in 1964; her first collection Savi (‘Clay’) appeared in 1968. It was followed by Kodakondur (‘Roamer Around Homes’, 1976) and the selection Laotusse lendama laukast (‘Flying to Heaven from a Bogpool’, 1992). The language of Karuks’s poetry is sensitive and rich, with unexpected relationships and witty associations. She uses mainly free verse, including the formal means of Estonian folklore and forms of Japanese poetry. Her characteristic attitude mainly emerged from personal experience; it was independent and void of illusions. The motif of clay has an essential place in her creation as a basis of her life philosophy.

Karuks received the Literary Prize of Canadian Estonians (1969), the award of the Estonian Arts Foundation in Canada (1979) and the National Library of Poetry award (1994).

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

Books in Estonian

Poetry collections
Urve Aasoja-Karuks, Savi. Toronto, 1968, 62 lk
Kodakondur. Alexandria: Mana, 1976, 63 lk
Laotusse lendama laukast: valitud luuletused. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1992, 158 lk
Kogutud luuletused. Koost. S. Kiin. Tallinn: EKSA, 2019, 327 lk