Udo Uibo (born 5 May 1956) is a literary critic, linguist, editor and translator.
Uibo was born in Viljandi, attended Viljandi 8-year School No. 3 and, from 1971–1974, Viljandi Secondary School No. 1. He continued his studies at Tartu State University, from which he graduated in 1979 specialising in Estonian philology. Thereafter, he worked for two years in Tallinn as a researcher at the Institute of Language and Literature of the Estonian Academy of Sciences. From 1981–1990, he was the language editor of the journal Keel ja Kirjandus. From 1997–2005, Udo Uibo was editor-in-chief of the journal Looming. Later, he has been a freelance literator in Tallinn. Member of the Estonian Writers’ Union from 1989.
Uibo made his debut with poems in the magazine Noorus in 1974 under the pseudonym of Kalju Nii. He has published poems under this pseudonym and his real name in periodicals and collections.
In the 1980s, Uibo became an active linguist and critic of literature and culture. He has made numerous translations of prose and poetry, mostly from English. Uibo has rendered classics of English poetry (Byron, Eliot, Blake) and other European poetry classics into Estonian. He has translated books by well-known prose authors writing in English, like Anthony Burgess, Truman Capote, Arthur Koestler, Toni Morrison, George Orwell, Isaac Bashevis Singer, John Steinbeck, Graham Swift and Evelyn Waugh.
In 2014, Udo Uibo published Sõnalood (‘Word Stories’), a collection of etymological studies in popular form. The book received the Literature Endowment Annual Award. Earlier, Uibo had received the same award twice for literary translation. In 2001, he was awarded the Order of the White Star, class V.
L. P. (Translated by I. A.)
Books in Estonian
Sõnalood: etümoloogilisi vesteid. Tallinn: Tänapäev, 2014. 215 lk.