Paula Susan Erkkila
Finnish North American Literature
Paula Erkkila was born and raised of Finnish immigrant parents in an iron mining
town in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
Her father, who always dreamed of having a farm, but had to settle for his
vegetable and flower garden, worked in an underground iron mine for 40 years.
He was noted for his humorous story-telling. Her mother who was a very
resourceful and competent emanta of the house, and who was a proud member
of The Knights and Ladies of the Kaleva, instilled in Paula a love of the Kalevala
and Finnish and Russian culture.
Paula received her BA in Social Psychology from the University of California in
Berkeley, and her Doctor of Medicine from Michigan State's innovative Upper
Peninsula Medical Education Program. She completed a Community Psychiatry
Residency at Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, and is board-certified by
the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Paula has worked in the field of
Community Psychiatry for 25 years, including 2 years in the field of forensics.
Paula has resided in Finland several times, in order to explore her Finnish and
Saami cultural heritage, and to work on her family tree. She is currently learning
more about the exciting field of genetics, in order to trace the migratory routes of
our ancestors out of Africa.
Paula describes herself as a romantic adventuress and nature lover, who enjoys
expressing her creativity through writing, singing, dancing, and gardening. She is
interested in promoting man's humanity to man, and is very saddened by the
greed-induced blights of poverty and racism.
Erkkila, Paula Susan. "Cosmic Bliss." Short story and poem. Connecting Souls:
Finnish Voices in North America. Varpu Lindstrom and Borje Vahamaki, editors.
Beaverton, Ontario, Canada: Aspasia Books, 2000.
---. "On the Road to Rock: A Search for Identity." A Memoir. Sampo, The Magic
Mill: A Collection of Finnish-American Writing, Michael Karni and Aila Jarvenpa,
editors. Many MInnesotas Project Number 5. Minneapolis, MN: New Rivers Press,
In addition, she has published several Finnish mythological poems in
Finnish-American newspapers, a Finnish Civil War essay and Kanteletar-related
poem in the Finnish-American Reporter, a feminist poem Persephone in
Mendocino County News & numerous unpublished works, including short stories,
poems, essays and love letters.