Asko Künnap

Poems Asko Künnap

About Asko Künnap


Asko Künnap (born 6 IX 1971) is a poet, designer and artist.

Künnap was born and attended school in Tartu. His father is linguist Ago Künnap. Asko Künnap studied industrial and graphic design at the Estonian Academy of Arts and interior architecture at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts. He has worked as an illustrator and designer and as a creative manager at an advertising agency. Künnap owns the publishing company Näo Kirik (‘Face Church’). He is a member of the Estonian Writers’ Union (from 2000), the PEN-Club and the Estonian Graphic Designers Association.

In the 00s, Künnap had published poetry in the press and in the joint collection Kaardipakk (‘Card Deck’, 2001). His first collection Ja sisalikud vastasid (‘And the Lizards Replied’, 2003), which received the Literature Endowment Annual Award and the Debut Award of the Estonian National Culture Foundation, stands out with harmony between the content and the form where the used text fonts, photos and poems form a stylish whole. The poems are divided into three cycles and accompanied by translations and explanatory texts about their creation. Künnap’s poetry is playful, taking its subject matter mainly from the present-day world. The visual side is essential in his poetry, as it supports the text or plays along with it. Kõige ilusam sõda (‘The Most Beautiful War’, 2005) which won the title of the most beautiful book together with Ja sisalikud vastasid maps Künnap’s big and small worlds; spatiality pervades both the design and texts. Delicate harmony between content and form is also offered by, e.g., Su ööd on loetud (‘Your Nights are Counted’, 2008) and Minu riik (‘My State’, 2021), which foregrounds the themes of dreams and darkness. In 2016, Künnap received the Annual Award of the journal Looming for his poetry.

Asko Künnap has created the visual identity of several institutions; in addition to books, he has designed record sleeves, stage sets and board games. He has published literary, film and art reviews and translated poetry from Finnish, English and German.

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

Books in Estonian

Ja sisalikud vastasid (kolmes kirjas). And the lizards replied (in three letters). Tallinn: Näo Kirik, 2003, 61 lk
Kõige ilusam sõda. Tallinn: Näo Kirik, 2004, 93 lk [2. trükk: ‘Kõige ilusam sõda: teine, korratud lahing’, 2005]
Su ööd on loetud. Tallinn: Näo Kirik, 2008, 95 lk
Mardikate määraja. Tallinn: Näo Kirik, 2011, 93 lk
Keravälk koputab tulles. Tallinn: Näo Kirik, 2019, 109 lk
Kuuskümmend kuus luuletust kahekümne kahele tüdrukule. Põltsamaa: Seitse Sõlme, 2021, 116 lk
Minu riik: ja rikkus pole pärit siinsest ilmast. Põltsamaa: Seitse Sõlme, 2021, 110 lk

Pimeduse vastu: graafika ja jutud. Against the darkness. Tallinn: Iluimpeerium, 1999, 32 lk
Mälestused. Tallinn: Näo Kirik, 2011, 96 lk