Friday, December 14, 2012

FinNALA Newsletter December 2012, Volume 5, Number 4

FinNALA Newsletter
December 2012, Volume 5, Number 4
Publication of the Finnish North American Literature Association
© December 10, 2012

Renew Your Membership for 2013

Continue your connections & support FinNALA: renew your membership at our website at Membership is $20.00 for 2013. You can renew by mail by sending your check or money order made payable to “FinNALA” to Beth Virtanen, President, FinNALA, P.O. Box 11,
New Blaine AR 72851, or renew by PayPal by visiting


Announcing the New
FinNALA Newsletter Editorial Team:
FinNALA is excited to announce the new FinNALA Newsletter editorial team. Our editor-in-chief will serve in an advisory capacity and exercise final editorial control with our new managing editor, Terri Martin, taking a more prominent leadership role in its production, controlling the content and layout of the Newsletter as well as establishing editorial policy. Our continuing assistant editor, Sirpa Kaukinen, and our new blog specialist, Heather Dunne, will bring specialized expertise to the endeavor. The team is thus:

Terri Martin, Managing Editor
Sirpa Kaukinen, Assistant Editor
Heather Dunne, Blog Specialist
Beth L. Virtanen, Editor-in-Chief


New FinNALA Advisory Board Members

FinNALA is pleased to announce its newly updated advisory board. The Board has met and developed the new mission statement as its first order of business.

·         Lauri Anderson, Hancock, Michigan
·         Josef Aukee, California
·         Kaarina Brooks, Ontario, Canada
·         Ernest Hekkanen, Alberta, Canada
·         Stephen Kuusisto, Syracuse, New York
·         K. A. Laity, New York
·         John Stotesbury, Joensuu, Finland
·         Raija Taramaa, Oulu, Finland
·         Frances Wiideman, Toivola, Michigan
·         Marianne Wargelin Brown, Minneapolis, Minnesota
·         Beth Virtanen, Arkansas & Michigan, President
·         G. K. Wuori, Illinois, Vice President


Finnish North American Literature Association
Mission Statement

FinNALA is an organization of writers and lovers of literature who share a belief that the literary culture of Finland is something worth highlighting and preserving, whether the focus is on past and present Finnish writers, or on writers based largely in North America who are of Finnish descent.
FinNALA is an inclusive organization open to anyone who writes or reads and who enjoys the uniqueness of the Finnish experience.
FinNALA works to define the depth, breadth, and contours of Finnish North American Literature from its inception in the late nineteenth century to the present.
FinNALA publishes the literary journal, Kippis, to help promote and publicize writers of all persuasions.  Its content favors, but is not limited to, the membership of FinNALA.
FinNALA publishes a periodic newsletter, the purpose of which is to provide information to the membership, and to provide an outlet for the creative efforts of its members.
FinNALA hosts a Facebook page open to members who wish to share information with the membership, as well as promote their own work in other areas.
FinNALA, as an important cultural bridge in international literature, makes every effort to be represented at various Finnish festivals and events.
FinNALA works to establish both personal and publication links between its North American membership and interested parties in Finland.

President of Finger Lakes Finns Steps Down 
After three years of service, Lisa daCunha-Koski has stepped down as President of the Finger Lakes Finns. She will retain a position on the newsletter editorial board and chair the scholarships awards committee. In addition, Lisa will serve as producer for the annual Quiz Program. Last year, Lisa's poem, "Old Barns" was read on National Public Radio. This past year, NPR archived her poem, "The House With No One In It," on their website.


Finlandia Foundation National Names Lecturer,
Performer of the Year

(PASADENA, California – November 30, 2012) – Finlandia Foundation National (FFN), the premier network of Finnish-American organizations in the United States, has named Yvonne Lockwood of Southeast Michigan as its Lecturer of the Year for 2013. The former curator of folk life at the Michigan State University Museum and author of the book Finnish American Rag Rugs: Art, Tradition, & Ethnic Continuity will appear at events organized by FFN chapters across the country to encourage appreciation of Finnish and Finnish-American talent, culture and traditions.
Lockwood presents her findings on the history and traditions of handcrafted goods, skills and practices of her Finnish-American heritage. She talks about elements of the material culture---the weaving, woodworking, foods and other objects made by hand---and their role in Finnish-America. She examines why some traditions survive while others are lost and, occasionally, are revived.
FFN also named Marja Kaisla, a pianist who was born in Finland and now lives in Philadelphia as its Performer of the Year. In addition to her solo piano performances she appears with the chamber music ensemble Trio Excelsior! The musician is also involved in planning the 375th anniversary celebration of the arrival of Finnish and Swedish immigrants in the Delaware Valley.
          About Finlandia Foundation National Finlandia Foundation National is the premier network of Finnish-American organizations in the United States. Founded in Pasadena, California in 1953, it administers grants, scholarships and programs supporting and celebrating Finnish heritage and Finnish-American culture and traditions. For more information about the 501 (c) (3) organization:

Finlandia Foundation National
P.O. Box 92298, Pasadena, California 91109-2298, United States


Fifth Annual Kippis! Contest is open!

Submissions are being accepted for Kippis! 6:1
Published online and in the FinnFest 2013 Edition of Kippis!
Paper copies of this issue will be available in the Tori at the FinNALA booth. Send regular submissions by email to Associate Editor G.K. Wuori: gkwuori at hotmail dot com

Submission Guidelines:

·         Entry fee: $20. Pay by PayPal or mail your check (20 US dollars) made out to "FinNALA" to Beth Virtanen, President, FinNALA, PO Box 11, New Blaine, AR 72851.
·         Prizes: First place $100, Second place $50; Third place $25
·         1st, 2nd, & 3rd place winners receive 5 paper copies of V. 6, No. 1 issue
·         Submission deadline: April 1, 2013
·         Genres accepted: fiction, nonfiction, poetry
·         Prose 3,000 word maximum
·         Poetry 3 poem maximum, not to exceed 8 pages
·         Electronic submission required. Submit to gkwuori at hotmail dot com
·         Multiple submissions are allowed with entry fee for each submission
·         Previously published work not accepted


Authors – Sell Your Book(s) at FinnFest 2013!

If you’re going to be at FinnFest 2013 in Houghton/Hancock, Michigan, and would like to sell copies of your book(s), then FinNALA has a great opportunity for you.

For a modest $20.00 (U.S.) fee, FinNALA will:

1.      Display your book on its table in the Tori for the duration of FinnFest,
2.      Keep a small reserve supply to replace sold books,
3.      Keep an accounting of the books sold so that sales monies can be given to each participating author,
4.      Keep you from having to pay the $300 fee to rent and staff your own sale table,
5.      Staff the FinNALA table during all regular Tori hours of the FinnFest.

We think this will be a great opportunity for our authors to gain exposure and to make some money.  If you’re interested in participating please contact Beth Virtanen as soon as possible at blvirtanen at gmail dot com.


Finnish-America’s Copper Country and
The Sibelius Academy Music Festival

The Road Scholar (formerly Elderhostel) program “Finnish America’s Copper Country and The Sibelius Academy Music Festival” will take place in the Copper Country of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula’s September 24-28, 2013. It is administered by Road Scholar and hosted by Finlandia University of Hancock, Michigan.

Hidden in the scenic Copper Country of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is a flourishing Finnish-American community. Immerse yourself in the Finnish-American influence of the area through hands-on workshops, presentations and demonstrations, a field trip to an authentic Finnish homestead, a mineral museum, an excursion up the Keweenaw Peninsula, and the spectacular performances of musicians from the world-renowned Sibelius Music Academy of Helsinki, Finland.

For more information visit the Road Scholar web site and enter program # 20651RJH, or call Road Scholar at 1-800-454-5768.

2012 Road Scholar participants visit Hanka Homestead


15th Annual Sibelius Academy Music Festival
Slated for Copper Country (Michigan) and Chicago

            Dates have been set for The Sibelius Academy Music Festival, which is sponsored by Finlandia University. Festival dates are September 22-27, 2013 and will feature classical and folk musicians from the esteemed Sibelius Academy of Helsinki, Finland.
Concerts will take place at the Estonian House near Chicago, Illinois, the historic Calumet Theatre of Calumet, Michigan, and locations in Hancock, Michigan. Finalization of concerts and other related events will be available early in 2013, and will be posted on the Finlandia University website  For more information contact the festival coordinator at terri dot martin at Finlandia dot edu or call 906-487-7512.

Liina Leijala, Cellist
2012 Sibelius



Greetings from Canada
By Sirpa T. Kaukinen
Terveisiä Kanadasta
Finnish-Canadian Poems
Kanadan-Suomalaisia Runoja

Sirpa Kaukinen's short book of poetry, Greetings from Canada - Terveisiä Kanadasta, can be ordered directly from the author for $10.00 at strek at rogers dot com.


Bunchgrass and Buttercups
By Gary V. Anderson

Bunchgrass  and Buttercups can be ordered from Amazon for $10.00,
or directly from the author for $15.00, which includes shipping and handling.

Gary V. Anderson
713 Madison Ave. N.
Bainbridge Island, WA  98110


By Waino (Bill) Korpela; Ernest Korpela, Editor

Finn, by Waino “Bill” Korpela and edited by Ernest Korpela, is now available. The work is a collection of pieces written by the author throughout his lifetime. It includes poetry and prose works that reflect his Finnish sensibility. Within the covers are Song of Suomi, an extended poem that shares the history of Finland. Accompanying this poem are detailed historical notes. In addition the book contains a critical article regarding the different linguistic and genetic roots of the Finnish people, a lively folk narrative regarding the origin of St. Urho, and occasional poems. It is the culmination of Waino Korpela’s intellectual and literary life. 
Finn has something for every reader.

·         If you identify with the struggles of the Finnish and other dominated people over the centuries— their “sisu” and drive for independence, “Song of Suomi” is an easy but excellent read backed up by factual notations.
·         Want to know about the St. Urho Legend?
·         Interested in the origins of the Finnish Language?

The work, Finn, is a collection of writings by Waino W. Korpela which embodies a host of perceptions of his father’s native land-its people, its history, its sisu, its culture, its struggle for self-determination and its perspective on life.  
                                                                              Ernest Korpela, Editor
Waino Korpela is a fine writer. His work brings the spirit of the Finns to life as he shares his experiences as a Finnish-American and as a researcher and poet. His poetry is grounded in the traditional verse of the Kalevala, and he makes available in his work the sources that influence his writing.                                                                   Beth L. Virtanen, Ph.D.
                               President, FinNALA Editor, Kippis!

Email the editor at korpela at cheqnet dot net, call 715 742-3349 or 906 663-4862, or write to Ernest Korpela, PO Box 273, Cornucopia, WI 54827 or Liola Korpela, PO Box 163, Ramsay, MI 49959 to order your copy today. The cost is $24.95 (hardcover) or $14.95 (softcover), plus tax and shipping.

Life is an Amazing Song
By John (Juha) Raikkonen
Life is an Amazing Song, is a memoir about growing up in Finland during the Finnish-Russian war from 1939 to 1945 and beyond. Described by a reader as “a humorous and serious tale…this book left me wanting for more.” This poignant story describes the experiences of a young boy living at his grandparents’ farm in Oulu, North Finland during the war. A thrilling memoir, Life is an Amazing Song is steeped in the tradition of Angela’s Ashes, My Life as a Dog (Swedish book) with a hint of Tom Sawyer.
For more information, .
Books purchased on web site will be autographed by author.
ISBN: 1453735100 300 pages. Rated five stars in the National Press. Edited by: Mike Valentino Reviewed by: Jean Purcell Siggy Buckley Laila Sullivan and others.


Creative Contributions

Three Photographs

Text and photo by Eero Sorila

It felt as if three black and white photographs descended from the wall and landed in my heart to stay.
     One was of Niagara Falls embraced by frost and icicles in mid winter. The second was of a deer’s head in which the sharply focused eye engaged one in a visual dialogue. The third was of a rowboat hugging a small dock and tossing reflections into a lake of utmost stillness.
     This visual impact took place in 1958 at the home of a Finnish photographer Matti Petäinen in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario.
     After fifty years, I can still see the three photographs vividly with the eye of my soul. Hands up, I was hooked into photography for life, but without a camera.
      Four years after seeing the three photographs I was a high school student in Montreal, in need of a camera.
      I would get up at five every morning before school to deliver eighty Montreal Gazette newspapers. Fortunately, I had been initiated into the 30 degree minus winters in Finland during my childhood.
      Earnings from the paper route, about five dollars a week in 1962, enabled me after many months of saving to buy my first camera. It was an East German Exa, single lens reflex camera. I was proud of my new possession but did not know anything about photography.
     Fast forward.  In 1970 I opened my own photographic studio in Vancouver, BC. I used a Hasselblad as my “work horse” a Swedish made medium format camera. Eventually I purchased a USA made large format Crown Graflex camera and specialized in landscape photography.
      Within thirty years, using sheet film, I photographed every province and territory of Canada. It was easy to put up with freezing temperatures, thunder storms and scorching heat when driven by challenges and inner contentment. To wait for the right quality of light, took hours or even days at times, but it was all worth it.        
     Selected images of the ten provinces and three territories have just been published in the USA into a photo book; CANADA, A Photographic Gallery of a Great Nation. ISBN 978-1-4771-3693-5
 With stunning photographs accompanied by informative captions, the book is an ideal gift, an asset in every home.
      It all started with three photographs.


A poem by Sirpa T. Kaukinen
from Greetings from Canada

An Important Word

I’ve been looking for viliparu a long time.
What could it be?
An important word like that.

Then I hear a neighbor say:
 “Put the wood in the viliparu” 
And I see a wheelbarrow is viliparu in Finglish.
Like the wheel in history,
Important like I knew it would be.


Two poems by M. L. King
Changjiang Delta

Outside a rec hall dance
in Devon, a Brit invites this Yankee
sailor in a Harley hat to drink
homemade rum.  My hangover clears
in winter air whipped by a Triumph’s
rush through roads carved
into moors.  As an enclosed double-
seater sidecar rocks my new
friend’s wife and three daughters—
five, seven, and nine—café
racers wheelie past.  After
kilometers, harried, the Scottish mom
punches Plexiglas; I’m obliged.
Better than a tilt-a-whirl, the sidecar
bucks while English uplands scroll
across windows.  The girls clamber
front to back, climb their guest
in a joyful rumble.  At a barn converted
to a pub, we eat pasties.  I drink
Guinness, then sleep beneath a quilt
of kids when we cycle into dusk.

East College Drop (Harbin, Heilongjiang 2007)

She steals two thousand kwai for love.  Expelled
when caught, she jumps from six floors up to end
her shame.  Her boyfriend’s tears dilute the blood
that stains her face, mangled on a sidewalk.      

No sirens wail as campus gossip spreads.
“That girl’s poor parents would have beaten her.
She make our college look bad; no one trust
it now,” my spoken English classroom says.


Two poems by Arlene Sundquist Empie from
Love Is A Place: A collection of poetry.

ISBN 9781931025096. Love Is A Place was honored as Winner,
General Poetry category, The 2012 USA Best Book Awards.

Winter White Jul

Outside . . .
ice on the pond
frost on the steps
snow on the path
trees draped in white
fog hovers
breath escapes
into whiteness.

Inside . . .
white clapboard house
bland and blond
food and family
jul table like
snow white landscape
white damask cloth
lutfisk, white sauce
sprinkled with allspice
white potato flour lefse
white boiled russets
pickled herring.

Ice crystals slide down
warm kitchen window.

Winter Solstice Symphony

A harmonic composition of
ice crystals earthbound
melding together into
snowflakes gently
falling, drifting
disguise, soothe
anxious thoughts
like snow covers
earth blemishes
palpable calmness
permeates crisp air.
No need to guard solitude.


Two poems by Charles Peltosalo
Originally written in the 1980s and revised 3 Jun 2012

Otter Pond

Otter shrine knelt in pond prayer;
Immigrant Japanese canoe-slide caretakers,
Brackish sidereal Chesapeake ice-skaters,
Visit frozen spirit.

Oaks old as Indians dead stand the daybreak watch,
Primal bass survives,
Curves through Shinto scrags,
Scoffs lure-snagged wood.
Fade-away fins disappear in green-spring depths,
Circumnavigate sleeping
Winter turtle dens
That support our planet on their diatomic shells,
2-headed deep in the leaf-scattered sand.

Lord Heron blasts blue wings;
Delicate surge of brute flight by canoe slides spirit-ridden,
Circles sunken temple.
Royal feathers alight regal, dexterous, awesome
On fallen trees bent reverently to
The sleeping otter’s aqueous dreams.

Sailing the Geologic Sea

Give me a high plains sage, rolling a dusty green
Up and over a mountain range, sailing the geologic sea.
Let me ride the sandstone waves and
Toss and glide on the rubbly red scree;
Send me off where the canyons wind
Through granite boulders’ company.

Like high desert fox in the breaks and draws
Dance in and vanish without a trace,
Give me the golden’s wings to disappear on
Summer winds above the prairie’s face.
Grant me the hooves and the paws of the desert elite,
Antelope and coyotes’ muscly feet,
The hawk’s sharp claws on the juniper’s branch,
The lizard’s horizon-long cactus retreat.

Send me away under warm Summer moons,
Let my spirit ride broad rolling silver-lit dunes.
Jagged heights of far ranges to a soul hold o mystery
That my far-roving mind cast adrift surely won’t see.
Let the wide open plains forever beckon me
Far from the shores of the crowding society,
With badger and eagle and mule deer please reckon me
Gone sailing the geologic sea.


Two poems by Gary Anderson
from Bunchgrass and Buttercups

Onkalo (Finnish for hiding place)

Return to a place
once lived,
find something
once lost.

Hold undamaged
parts of soul and self
as dew settles
on lowlands.

Go to a cedar stump,
burned hollow,
pull the sword fern
door closed,
dig for childish artifacts
buried there.

Touch flat rocks
from fast water,
say skyfixer,
say dreamstream.

Cry, finally cry,
for the boy.

Dividing the Farm

You take fences,
tilled fields,
straight lines,
square corners
of forty.
Give me
meander of
stream, bank of
cattails, willow.

You take tree farm,
clear cut.
Give me
tangle of swamp,
knoll above marsh where
salt meets fresh,
vernal pond where
salamanders arrive
one spring night from
down under woody debris.


Two Yooper Shorts by Terri Martin

Passing Lane

            Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (U.P.) does not have many four-lane roads. It is a well-known fact that Yoopers (those from the U.P.) drive at two speeds: very fast and very slow. It is inevitable that the Very Fast will find themselves positioned behind the Very Slow. U.P. traffic engineers, in all their wisdom, have found a solution: The Passing Lane. This is when your one lane briefly turns into two, thus, theoretically, enabling the Very Fast to zoom past the Very Slow. Except for some unknown reason, this is when the Very Slow experiment with becoming the Very Fast. This allows the Temporarily Very Fast and the Steadfastly Very Fast (now foaming noticeably at the mouth) to engage in an exciting game of chicken to see who will pull back before the two lanes merge back into one at which time the Temporarily Very Fast, who inevitably wins the game of chicken, will retract into his comfort zone and once again become the Very Slow.

Women’s Work

            The male Yooper’s motto: “that’s women’s work” applies to everything except activities involving a chain saw, a gun, a knife, a fishhook, or a giant-screen television. Yooper men would never dream of making their spouse (who is often referred to as “the wife”) engage in something so feral as “dressing out” a deer. No, her job is to work one or two jobs, keep up the house, raise the children, take care of his elderly parents, and occasionally throw on something sexy, like a camouflage thong, to make him feel like a man. A Yooper man would rather be hunched on an ice floe bearing the brunt of a frigid north wind than be roped into doing women’s work.

FinNALA Newsletter Editorial Team:

Terri Martin, Managing Editor
Sirpa Kaukinen, Assistant Editor
Heather Dunne, Blog Specialist
Beth L. Virtanen, Editor-in-Chief