Pontus Purokuru

Writer, philosopher

Kuva | Photo: Jussi Virkkumaa

I’m a writer of essays, fragments, short prose and aphorisms. A few years ago, I started writing concise micro essays. For a long time, the essay felt to me like an overly matter-of-fact and dark form of writing. Then it occurred to me that language could be used in a more cheerful way, so that it makes you feel lighter.

After writing a hundred or so short essays, short stories and anecdotes, I realised that the texts take many directions. Some are prose-poem-like essays about things like morning coffee, apartment viewings and beer. Others are philosophical conceptual analyses on themes such as time, scammers, the end of the world and vomiting. Then there are headlined stories about adulthood, the police, a belt and the lady from the housing association.

I also wrote about topics such as toothbrushes, the middle-class’s love of self-hatred, handlessness, visibility, balls and high society. Finally, there are methodical texts produced through a conscious algorithm, such as a journal that compresses my 10-year diary into 10,000 characters, an autobiographical work documenting my memories from a baby to my current age in seven pages, and a text about unemployment in which I document all my communications with the labour authorities in minute detail.

In addition to the above-mentioned texts, I have close to 30 topics that I will use to sketch micro essays during my time at the Saari Residence. At Saari, I intend to rewrite texts, add more references and build layers into them. Above all, I will try to create a coherent composition from the rich and varied material. It may vary depending on whether it is a printed book, an e-book or an audiobook.

Pontus Purokuru is a Helsinki-based writer who has published a novel and a hybrid poem-novel, an essay collection and six co-authored non-fiction books. His experimental novel, Römaani (2019), received the Kalevi Jäntti Award. His essay Täysin automatisoitu avaruushomoluksuskommunismi (Completely Automated Gay Space Luxury Communism, 2018) attracted attention in literary, philosophical and political circles. His latest work is a combination of poetry and a novella, a double-sided book called Haavamaa (Wound Land, 2023). His co-authored works deal with the media’s use of power, social movements, Finnish political history, refusal to work, the crisis of liberalism and the internet’s relationship with capitalism.

In addition to written work, Purokuru produces two philosophical podcasts: Selitä mulle (Explain to Me) and Mikä meitä vaivaa (What Is Wrong With Us). He was also one of the scriptwriters of a documentary, worked as a critic and a political reporter and acted as a social commentator.