Greenbelt Speaker


Our own Nancy Mattson is speaking at the Greenbelt Festival, Monday August 29th, at 10 a.m.

In "A Dream of Utopia in Soviet Karelia", Nancy will tell about her search for her Finnish great-aunt who disappeared in Soviet Karelia in the 1930s, and read some poems based on her aunt's story. Thousands of North American Finns, gripped by “Karelian Fever”, moved to the Soviet Union in the 1930s to help build a socialist utopia. What happens when dreams of a secular utopia go sour? Nancy’s search for meaning and motive in that doomed project began with a personal search for her great-aunt lost in Karelia in 1939 and generated poems based on history, family letters and an autumn train journey in 2010 to meet her Russian step-kin. More details