I’m born and raised in a small town along the coast of Finland. My first language is Swedish although I’ve also been writing poetry in English for a long time. I find it interesting how I express myself in different languages, especially in poetry where every syllable is so precious. I find my writing in English has a completely different build than that which is written in my own language.
What is the greatest thing about the place you call home?
We’re a tight community where it seems everybody knows each other, and we work hard to express ourselves and our culture. Swedish-speaking Finns are a minority in Finland still somehow we have a thriving culture and a prominent can-do-spirit that makes this a great place to live.
What turns you on creatively?
Weakness, tenderness, the courage to be human, cruelty, longing, forgiveness and bloody revenge.
What is your favorite word, and can you use it in a poetic sentence?
Vällust (lust, pleasure) and frosseri (gluttony). I rarely write bilingual stuff but here’s an excerpt from a poem where I put these to use:
Three. I appear missing, a joke lost in translation from Swedish into ache vällust and frosseri, taking all I need, ignoring lessons learnt by pride the same teacher who taught me how to swing a bat.
What is your pet peeve?
Whistling. I hate whistling. Any kind of whistling. It makes my intestines twist and turn.
What defines Henna Johansdotter?
Tough one. I’d say I’m socially unafraid on an awkward level. I’m the one who would probably admit to liking hentai on the first date. I don’t care for keeping people comfortable. That’s not my responsibility. I like makeup. I like metal. I like gory horror. I like poetry. I like being who I am. And I really liked participating in this interview. Thank you!