Kimmo Oksanen
Humanist of the day

Kimmo Oksanen

Helsingin Sanomat newspaper editor Kimmo Oksanen wants to be on the side of the small and the good. He has written many articles on urban culture and displacement, as well as Romani beggars, who are talked about vigorously in the media. Oksanen originally planned to study the Finnish language and although the subject did not suit him, he found many more interesting and rewarding aspects in the humanities.

Kimmo Oksanen

Kimmo Olli Tapani Oksanen
Born September 1, 1960, Sysmä

BA 1985 (Finnish Literature), University of Helsinki

Editor/producer (city desk, culture department, people section) at the Helsingin Sanomat newspaper, 1993–
Journalist at the staff newsletter Hesa, 1989–93
Porter at Sanoma Ltd., 1989
Library and information assistant at the Helsinki City Library, 1985–88
Gardening assistant at the Korkeasaari Zoo, 1982–84

Kasvonsa menettänyt mies (‘The man who lost his face’), WSOY 2015
Kerjäläisten valtakunta. Totuus kerjäävistä romaneista… ja muita valheita (‘Kingdom of Beggars: The truth about Romani beggars… and other lies’), WSOY 2009
Makasiinit 1899–2006 (‘The VR Warehouses 1899–2006’), Helsingin Sanomat newspaper 2006
‘Atlantis’ (winner of the My Memories of Sysmä writing competition), Sysmän Kirjakyläyhdistys 2010
Many other writings, including ones on Romani beggars in Finland

Visiting Sysmä Person of the Year Award 2014
Finnish PEN Club Free Word Prize 2014
Helsinki Gold Medal 2012

Special achievements
Member of the Eino Leino Society 2015–
First prize in the Temperance writing competition 1968, Heinola Rullanpirtti primary school
Two saves on penalty shots taken in the same football match by Pasi Rautiainen, Helsinki Cup 1977
Going from porter to editor in three years at Sanoma Ltd.

Photo: Carl Bergman / WSOY
Written by Kimmo Oksanen (Tomas Sjöblom, ed.)
Translated by Joe McVeigh