Enn Lillemets

Enn Lillemets

Enn Lillemets (real name Ernst Lillemets, born 1 May 1958) is an actor, poet and cultural historian.

He was born and attended school in Tartu, studied Estonian literature at Tartu State University (graduated in 1983) and acting at the drama studio of the Vanemuine theatre (graduated in 1989). He continued his education at the University of Copenhagen where he studied Faroese culture (1991). He has worked at the Estonian Literary Museum and been an actor at Tartu Children’s Theatre. He belonged to Tartu Young Authors’ Association (chairman 1983–1986) and is a member of Pallas Art Society (from 1988), Estonian Actor’s Union (1993), Karl Ristikivi Society (2001), Estonian Association of Art Historians and Curators (2002) and Jaan Tõnisson Society.

He made his debut in literature with a short story which was awarded the second prize at the story competition of the newspaper Edasi in 1978. Since the early 1980s, he has published poems. His first poetry collection Olemise valge koer ehk ingli kolju (‘The White Dog of Existence or the Angel’s Skull’, 1994) has been influenced by surrealist undercurrents and the poetry of the Arbujad grouping, which is also noticeable in the poetry collection Joon haljast valgust nagu vett: teine kogu luulet 1993–2015 (‘I Drink Pure Light Like Water: The Second Collection of Poetry 1993–2015’, 2016). An essential place in Lillemets’ creation belongs to the town of Tartu and allusions to other texts.

Lillemets is also a recognised cultural historian. He has performed in various television and radio broadcasts, arranged exhibitions, issued different publications, compiled collections, e.g., a collection of short stories by Peet Vallak, Hinge taud (‘Disease of Soul’, 1983) and Betti Alver. Usutlused. Kirjad. Päevikukatked. Mälestused (‘Betti Alver. Interviews. Letters. Excerpts from Diaries. Memories’, 2007) compiled in cooperation with Kristi Metste.

In 1987, he received the annual award of the journal Looming for a cycle of poems and the article Daniel Palgi ja Peet Vallak (‘Daniel Palgi and Peet Vallak’) and, in 2004, the annual award of Tartu Cultural Endowment for keeping up the traditions of Pallas Art Society.

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


Books in Estonian

Olemise valge koer ehk ingli kolju: mitme aja laulud. Tartu: Ilmamaa, 1994, 101 lk.
Joon haljast valgust nagu vett: teine kogu luulet 1993-2015. Tallinn: Eesti Keele Sihtasutus, 2016, 53 lk.