Kalev Kesküla

Poems Kalev Kesküla

Kalev Kesküla (22. X 1959 – 25. VI 2010) was a journalist and writer.

Born in Tallinn, Kesküla graduated in Estonian philology from the University of Tartu in 1983. From 1983 to 1991 he worked as an editor for the publishers of the Estonian Encyclopedia. From 1991 Kesküla worked for the weekly Eesti Ekspress, where for a long time he was the editor of its Areen culture supplement and a columnist.

Kesküla made his debut with verses in the anthology Viis tüdrukut ja kaheksa poissi (‘Five Girls and Eight Boys’) in 1977. His own debut book was the poetry collection Läbi linnaöö (‘Through the City Night’, 1986), which caught attention because of its social qualities. This was complemented by four books of poetry, of which the last, Vabariigi laulud (‘Songs of the Republic’, 1998), won the annual poetry prize of the Literature Endowment.

Kalev Kesküla wrote philosophical free verse on important themes of life and society, placing them in a wider skein of mythological and cultural-historical allusions. His work is characterised by ironic sensitivity and occasional pathos.

Kesküla got the 2009 annual prose prize of the Literature Endowment for his prose collection Elu sumedusest (‘A Life of Tenderness’). In his assessment of the book, Mihkel Mutt called the genre of the texts collected in it as something between marginalia, novelettes and columns.

In 2008 Kalev Kesküla compiled a large collection of memoirs about Mati Unt with the title Undi-jutud (‘Unt Stories’).

Kesküla was an acknowledged expert on wine. He produced the first lexicon of wine in Estonian.

L. P. (Translated by C. M.)

Books in Estonian

Läbi linnaöö. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1986. 63 lk.
Aeg rannal. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1988. 80 lk.
Eneseirooniline armastaja. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1991. 107 lk.
Vabariigi laulud. Tallinn: Tuum, 1998. 67 lk.
Platoni riigis. Tallinn: Tuum, 2002. 93 lk.
Kogutud luuletused. Tallinn: Eesti Keele Sihtasutus, 2011. 397 lk.

Elu sumedusest. Tallinn: Tuum, 2010. 132 lk.

Veinijuht. Tallinn: Eesti Ekspressi Kirjastus, 2004. 399 lk.
Uus veinijuht. Tallinn: Eesti Ekspressi Kirjastus, 2007. 533 lk.