Igor Kotjuh (Игорь Котюх)


Short stories



Igor Kotjuh (born 22. V 1978) is a poet, journalist and translator; one of the main promoters of Estonian-Russian literature.

Kotjuh was born and attended school in Võru. He studied Estonian as a foreign language and Estonian literature at the University of Tartu and literary studies at Tallinn University. He is a doctoral student at the University of Tartu. Kotjuh was the founder of the Estonian-Russian literary grouping Tuulelohe (Kite) and its leader in its period of existence in 2003–2006. He is the founder and editor of the publishing company Kite, managing editor of the publishing company Tuum, chief editor of the Estonian-Russian literature portal oblaka.ee, teacher of Estonian language and literature at Koigi school, a member of the Estonian PEN-Club and, from 2006, of the Estonian Writers’ Union.

The debut collection of Kotjuh, who writes in both Estonian and Russian, Когда наступит завтра? (‘When Will Tomorrow Come?’) appeared in 2005, his first collection in Estonian, Teises keeles (‘In My Second Language’), in 2007. The latter received the Bernard Kangro Literary Award in the same year. Kotjuh’s poetry, which deals with both social and lyrical themes, has a thoughtful undertone. An essential place belongs to the questions of identity, the native and the alien, one of the driving forces for it is his own multilingual background. The author uses the concept of the genre derived by himself — the esseme — which connects the poem and the essay. The collection Sireenid ja sähvatused (‘Sirens and Plumes’, 2022) contains poems written in Estonian and those translated from Russian. They reflect both personal and social crises, especially the events of the Ukrainian war.

Kotjuh has received three times the Literature Endowment Annual Award for the author writing in Russian: for Эстонский дизайн (‘Estonian Design’, 2013), Естественно особенный случай (‘A Naturally Special Case’, 2017) and The Isolation Tapes. Cтихотворения и заметки (‘The Isolation Tapes. Poems and Observations’ 2020). In addition, he has received the Annual Award of the journal Looming (2004), the Estonian President’s Young Cultural Figure Award (2011), the Order of the White Star, class V, and the Tallinn municipal medal (2015).

Kotjuh has researched the Russian-language literature of Estonia in detail. He has translated Estonian poetry, children’s literature and essays into Russian and Russian poetry and essays into Estonian. He is the editor of several anthologies and soloist of the jazz-poetry band FSK.

A. K. (Tramslated by I. A.)

Books in Estonian

Teises keeles: essee, luuletused ja esseemid 2000-2007. Tallinn: Tuum, 2007, 85 lk
Usaldusliin. Tlk A. Pilv. Võru: Kite, 2010, 78 lk
Kuidas kujutada päeva?. Tlk K. Väli. Tallinn: Kite, 2015, 125 lk
Loomulikult eriline lugu: luuletused proosas. Tlk A. Pilv. Tallinn: Tuum, 2017, 86 lk
Sireenid ja sähvatused. Paide: Kite, 2022, 144 lk

Books in Russian

Когда наступит завтра?. Таллинн: Huma, 2005, 64 стр.
Попытка партнерства: стихи и эссемы 2004-2008. Выру: Kite, 2008, 92 стр.
Эстонский дизайн: стихи 2009-2013. Таллинн: Kite, 2013, 120 стр.
Естественно особенный случай: стихотворения в прозе. Пайде: Kite, 2017, 88 стр.
The Isolation Tapes. Cтихотворения и заметки. Пайде: Kite, 2020, 92 стр.