Finnish North American Literature Association
Eelu Kiviranta served in the Finnish army before leaving the wretched conditions in Finland in
search of a better life for his family. He was born Eliel Kiviranta on December 31, 1873, in
Oulainen, Finland. Kaisa Vehkaperä from Haukipudas, north of Oulu. On March 16, 1901,
Eelu traveled to the U.S. by ship and was followed by Kaisa in June of 1901. They lived first
in the Ripley area while Eelu worked in the Quincy Mine, but he soon moved to Redridge,
Michigan, where he worked in a stamp mill, and during which time he acquired a printing
press. Subsequently, Eelu and Kaisa bought a farm in Nisula, Michigan, and kept a dairy
herd. Eelu augmented his farm income by selling his poetry to his peers in rural Michigan. He
also served as a correspondent and agent for Walvoja, a local Finnish-language newspaper.
Eelu and Kaisa Kiviranta had several children, including Hilda who is mother of Lillian Lehto
and grandmother of Steve Lehto, translator and introduction writer, respectively, of the
volume of poems published posthumously and catalogued below.
A Rascal's Craft: Musings of a Finnish-American Immigrant. Poems by Eelu Kiviranta.
Translated by Lillian Lehto. Introduction by Steve Lehto. ISBN 978-879094-86-4.
This handsome paperback includes nearly fifty poems written in Finnish and translated into
English, arranged side-by-side in two-column pages. The contents is arranged in themes,
including Immigration Experience, Memories of Finland, Life in America, Current Events,
The manuscript is supported by a Foreward by James N. Kurtti (Honorary Consul of Finland
for the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Director of the Finnish American Heritage Center, and
Editor of the Finnish-American Reporter), an Introduction by Steve Lehto (author of
Michigan's Columbus and Death's Door), a Word from the Translator, Acknowledgements
and Sources, and a Glossary of Finglish terms use by the original poet..
The publication is available from Momentum Books. They can also be obtained from Lillian Lehto at 1419
Yosemite, Birmingham, MI 48009, postpaid for $19.95.