Harri Hertell - Finland

Harri Hertell (b. 1985) is a poet, spoken word artist, dj, and cultural manager from Helsinki. As a professional performer, Hertell is known as the frontman of two duos, dub poetry outfit Dubros and spoken word twosome Hertell & Hertell. Since spring 2016, he has also toured with his new trio Hertell, Rinne & Norvio, whose tracks feature Hertell's Beat style spoken word poetry accompanied by the mesmeric improvised bass clarinet (Tapani Rinne) and electronic soundscapes (Tuomas Norvio) of his two colleagues.

Hertell's best known accomplishment as a cultural manager is the founding and long-time managing of the Helsinki Poetry Connection, a spoken word collective born in 2008 that has had a sizeable impact on the nature of Finnish performance poetry as a subculture.

Hertell has written four works of poetry, the most recent having been published by Sammakko in fall 2016 (Maisema ennen sadetta, "Landscape before rain"). The sparse, haiku-esque poems in the collection were favorably reviewed in the domestic press. The newest work is a positive description of a sea change in the life of an adult, carrying themes such as fatherhood, expecting, and mankind's relationship with nature.

Hertell's poems have been translated into English, German, Spanish, Czech, French, Polish, Swedish and Catalan. His work has also been featured in a number of anthologies and literary magazines.

Currently Hertell performs his poetry actively (either solo or with one of his bands), is working on new spoken word pieces, and is writing his sixth collection. In spring 2017 the underground publisher Savukeidas released Hertell's first non-fiction book, Lavaruno-opas, which is a guide and an essay anthology and an in-depth review of Finland's spoken word culture.

In addition to working as a performer and creative writer, Hertell also organizes spoken word workshops that have been instrumental in teaching people of all ages about performance poetry in places such as schools, youth clubs, libraries, and prisons. Various live poetry stages across Europe are also familiar territory for him.

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Hertell & Hertell's music video, Move on!:
More tracks and videos here: