Ilmar Lehtpere had a bilingual upbringing in Estonian and English. He is the translator of Kristiina Ehin's The Drums of Silence (Oleander Press, Cambridge, 2007), which was awarded the Poetry Society Corneliu M. Popescu Prize for European Poetry in Translation. His other translations of Kristiina Ehin's work are Põletades pimedust - Burning the Darkness - An Dorchadas á Dhó (trilingual Estonian-English-Irish selected poems, Coiscéim, Dublin, 2009), A Priceless Nest (short stories, Oleander Press, Cambridge, 2009), Päevaseiskaja - South-Estonian Fairy Tales (Huma, Tallinn, 2009) and Noorkuuhommik - New Moon Morning (selected poems, Huma, Tallinn, 2007). He has also translated her play, A Life Without Feathers, and has already started working on her next collection of poems in English.
His translations of Kristiina Ehin's poetry and prose appear regularly in leading Irish and British literary journals. His own poetry has appeared in Estonian and Irish literary journals.