Doris Kareva

Doris Kareva was born in Tallinn in 1958, and studied English language and literature at the University of Tartu. She is a poet, essayist, and translator, and has published several collections of poetry and twelve books in Estonian translation. Her own poems and essays have been translated into some twelve languages. Doris’ texts have inspired many musicians and composers, and are often performed both in Estonia and abroad. She was decorated with the Estonian Order of the White Star, and has received multiple nominations for the Nobel Prize for Literature. As well as working as a literary editor, she served sixteen years as the Secretary General of the Estonian National Commission for UNESCO.

Photo: Kaido Vainomaa


Border Crossings »

Reading: Doris Kareva, Jay Whittaker

Fri 9 March | 11:30 - 12:30 | £4.50/£3.50 | The Town Hall, Queens Gardens, Supper Room



Snow is a blank sheet.
ciphers glow unseen –
the trumpet solo of spring,
the saffron shade of summer.

Snow is a blank sheet.
                   Do not write
there a single name;
let stars be reflected
in countless crystals.

Each flake is a star,
altogether unique
in insignificance –
                   all dissolves.

Snow is a blank sheet
and solace –
                   silence of language,
aquiver with meaning


Doris Kareva, tr. Miriam McIlfatrick-Ksenofontov

From Days of Grace (Bloodaxe Books, 2018) #bloodaxebooks