The poet, literary critic, translator, and linguist Joel Sang has a PhD in philology. He made his poetry debut in 1971 along with three other outstanding young authors in the joint collection Närvitrükk (Nerve Print). Sang has been a member of the Estonian Writers’ Union since 1984.

Sang was born in 1950 in Pärnu. He has worked as a teacher, editor, and director of the Estonian State Puppet Theater’s literary department, as well as for various publishers and magazines. From 2006–2016, he served as editor-in-chief of the Estonian academic magazine Keel ja Kirjandus.

Sang’s poetry is inspired by language – his sarcastic and melodic writing knows language to its very core and enjoys that familiarity. He has also penned children’s poetry, song lyrics, and libretti. In addition, he has translated prose, poetry, plays, and essays into Estonian from Finnish, English, Russian, French, Swedish, and Italian (including writers such as Oscar Wilde, Allen Ginsberg, François Villon, Andrei Platonov, and Umberto Eco). Sang’s own writing has been translated into Finnish, French, German, Russian, English, Polish, and Ukrainian.


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