Anni Milja Maaria Sinnemäki
Born July 20, 1973, Helsinki
Bachelor of Arts 2001 (Russian literature and philosophy), University of Helsinki
Deputy Mayor (City planning and real estate) January 14, 2015–, City of Helsinki
Minister of Labour and Chairman of the Greens 2009–11
Member of parliament 1999–2015
Lyrics for the band Ultra Bra and the poetry collections Sokeana hetkenä (‘A moment of blindness’) and Aleksis Kiven katu (‘Alexis Kivi Street’)
Photo: Helsingin kaupunki
Written by Suvi Uotinen
Translated by Matthew Billington
Lyrics for Ultra Bra
Anni Sinnemäki began writing lyrics for the band Ultra Bra during her student days in 1995 and continued all the way until the band’s final record in 2001. For example, she is responsible for the lyrics of the songs “Sinä lähdit pois” (‘You went away’), “Tyttöjen välisestä ystävyydestä” (‘About a friendship between girls’) and “Nainen, joka elää vapaaherran elämää” (‘A woman who lives the life of a baron).
“In those days I was juggling many different things. I was studying, doing temporary work, I was a part of a band community and I had a small child. Writing also requires that you think about things and that you have space in your mind. It was possible because I didn’t always study so intensively at university.”
Ms Sinnemäki suspects that her writing has been significantly influenced by studying Russian literature and by her prodigious reading of high literature in general. Her writing has been particularly influenced by Anna Ahmatova and Joseph Brodsky.
In 2003, Anni Sinnemäki published the book Sokeana hetkenä (‘A moment of blindness’), a collection of her lyrics and other new texts. In 2009, she released a poetry collection, Aleksis Kiven katu (‘Aleksis Kivi Street’), which she wrote while living in the Alppila district of Helsinki, where the street Aleksis Kiven katu can be found. She still writes poetry to this day.