Pauli Tapio was born in 1986 in the northern Finnish city of Oulu. As a child his family spent several years living abroad, in the USA, in Czechoslovakia and in the United Kingdom. As an adult he has lived in Helsinki, Finland, and in St. Petersburg, Russia. He has studied Finnish literature and Russian at the university of Helsinki and has worked as a literary critic, an event organiser and a translator. Tapio has translated books by such Russian authors as Sergei Dovlatov and Svetlana Alexievich as well as poetry by young Russian poets. He is currently employed by the University of Helsinki where he teaches courses and conducts PhD research into the formation of vers libre in modernistic Finnish poetry.
Tapio’s first collection of poetry, Sparrows and Time, was published in 2017. In the same year it won the prestigious Helsingin Sanomat book award, given to the best debut work of prose or poetry of that year. In his poetry, Tapio takes an interest in the rhythms of the Finnish language. He is also very interested in the formal and stylistic conventions of different poetic tradition and he likes to adapt time worn forms and constraints into contemporary contexts whilst maintaining an engagement with the innovative contemporary poetry of his native language and other languages. Thematically, his first collection investigates the fate of modern individuality as it is caught in the convulsions of world history and world politics.