Arvo Valton wins Kindred Peoples' Literary Award

Arvo Valton
Arvo Valton Source: Ülo Josing/ERR

The winner of the 2022 Kindred Peoples' Literary Award in honor of Udmurt writer and social activist Kuzebai Gerd (1898-1937), was announced on November 1. This year, the prize was awarded to Arvo Valton in recognition of his work in promoting and presenting the literature of Finno-Ugric peoples.

In a prolific career, Arvo Valton (born Arvo Vallikivi) has translated and edited numerous collections and book series' about indigenous literature. He has also visited Finno-Ugric authors in Russia on numerous occasions and brought Finno-Ugric writers to Estonia.

From 1996 to 2010, Arvo Valton was the chair and president of the Association of Finno-Ugric Literatures (AFUL). AFUL brings together Finno-Ugric writers, translators and literary scholars as well as participating in the organization of the Finno-Ugric congress.

For his literary activities and Finno-Ugric activism, Arvo Valton has previously been awarded the French Order of Arts and Letters (Ordre des Arts et des Lettres), the title of Honored Arts Worker of the Udmurt Republic and the Badge of Honor of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug.

In 2014, Valton was awarded the Estonian National Culture Foundation Prize and in 2015 the University of Tartu prize for Contribution to Estonian National Identity.

Since 2007, the Ministry of Education and Research's Kindred Peoples' Program has presented the Kindred Peoples' Literary Award in cooperation with AFUL to recognize the work of authors and translators of kindred peoples, who do not have their own officially recognized state.


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Editor: Michael Cole

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