Harry Salmenniemi was born in 1983 in Jyväskylä and studied Philosophy and Political Sciences in Helsinki, Rome and Melbourne. He worked as an editor-in-chief for Tuli&Savu, the largest poetry magazine in Finland. He is co-founder of the publishing house Osuukunta Poesia, which focuses on the publication of avant-garde poetry and prose and is owned by a cooperative of young poets.
Salmenniemi has published several volumes of avant-garde poetry: Runojä (Poems; 2011), Texas, sakset (Texas, scissors; 2010), Virrata että (Stream that; 2008). He has also edited an anthology of contemporary Finnish experimental poetry Vastakaanon 2000-2010 (Counter Canon 2000-2010) which was published last year. Many of his poems have been composed to classical music. He has written also for theater productions and worked on short film projects and various art exhibitions.
Salmenniemi has received several grants and awards, such as the Kalevi Jäntti Prize (2010). His latest collection of poems Runojä (Poems) was published in 2011 and is influenced by American language-poetry, contemporary painting and Oulipien writing methods. Runojä was a nominee for the Tanssiva Karhu prize, which is given to the poetry book of the year. In March 2012, Runojä got the award for the Most Beautiful Book of the Year 2011 by the Finnish Book Art Committee (Suomen kirjataiteen komitea).
A selection of Salmenniemi'r work will be translated during his residency by Siân Melangell Dafydd.
The HALMA scholarship for Harry Salmenniemi is supported by the House of Literature Jyväskylä.