ditch,

the poetry that matters

ENGLISH POEMS BY ICELANDERS

November 2009
curated by a.rawlings
poems were written during Impromptu Writing Workshops in Reykjavík, Iceland facilitated by a.rawlings

(click on the high-lighted poets names to read their work)

Ásgeir H Ingólfsson

Ásgeir H Ingólfsson (b. 1976 in Akureyri) is a future poet who has been sidetracked by journalism, selling books and teaching, among other shady activities. To be more specific he has mostly worked as a cultural journalist for various publications - paper and online - for the last two years and a half, but is always trying to find the time to write some stuff that other cultural journalists can write about. To be even more specific he has about eight novels, two travel books, one play, two books of poetry and one screenplay in development - not that he's started writing any of them,he's been too busy sampling every type of beer there is to find in Eastern Europe.

Kristín Kamban

According to Kristín Kamban, aggravating folly doesn’t frighten her; she does it all the time. Her belief in the existence of the boogie-man allows her to do so. She tries to manhandle the manifestations of him in all of her doings. Especially poetry. Kristín lives in Reykjavík and studies folkloristics at the Universtity of Iceland.

Hjörvar Pétursson

Hjörvar Pétursson was born 1972 in the town of Akureyri, Iceland. He has also lived in the village of Blönduós, on the State Farm at Hólar in Hjaltadalur, and in the capital Reykjavík; as well as (for shorter periods of time) Brno, Czech Republic; and Lund, Sweden. He has held various jobs, such as assistant bricklayer, waiter, farmhand and mailman. He has had short stories published in a couple of Icelandic anthologies, poetry at various occasions in Icelandic newspapers, magazines and e-zines, as well as translations of poetry to the Icelandic, including a performance on Icelandic State Radio. He is, however, yet to publish a proper work of literature of his own. In the late 90‘s, he was a member of the editorial board of Icelandic literary magazine „Andblær,“ mis-using the opportunity to push his own works to its fullest. He currently resides with his wife and three children in Tübingen, Germany, working on the statistical genetics of Parkinson‘s Disease and Essential Tremor. He regards his participation in the writing of the scientific papers he has co-authored among the finest pieces of literature he has ever written.

Silja Hrund Barkardóttir Hansen

Silja Hrund Barkardóttir Hansen is an up-and-coming Icelandic writer of poetry and prose. Silja has a degree in Icelandic Literature, has taken part of an MA-degree in Icelandic Studies, is currently taking an MA-degree in Cultural Mediation, has worked as an assistant teacher for various teachers at the University of Iceland, has translated from Icelandic to English, for instance in Stúdentablaðið, was editor of the black version of the short-story and poetry collection Guðmundarstaðarkynið and published a poem there, was the foreman of the Culture- and Arts Society in Fjölbrautarskólinn í Breiðholti, where she held various gatherings; concerts, author-readings and cultural evenings. Silja has written poetry both in Icelandic and English used as lyrics for the musician Jón Gunnar Þórarinsson and for his band Bed of Nails as well as in her own lyrical/musical performances, has published articles about the 17th century magician Jón Daðason in the academic web-journal Kistan, Afkimar, has forthcoming an article about Jón Daðason in Glíman and forthcoming entries in the Icelandic Handbook On Literature.

Jón Bjarki Magnússon

Jón Bjarki Magnússon is not yet a poet. He has been working for the Nýhil poetry collective in Iceland as an accountant for the last one and a half years. But numbers and money do not give him the fulfillment he desires. He has been trying to write for a long time; unfortunately, he never seems to perfectly find the right tone to describe his experience with sheep in Cambodia. This brings sadness into his life, sadness that generates a horrific look on his face. Right now, Jón Bjarki is working on a poem called “the lambs in [add any country of the world] (and you).” His goal is to write about lambs in all the countries of the world. If he succeeds his sadness might disappear, and with it would go that horrific look on his face, his best poem to date. Which would be sad.

Jón Örn Loðmfjörð

Jón Örn Loðmfjörð, born in Selfoss on Christmas day 1983 and conceived in Reykjavík around Easter the same year, is an Icelandic experimental poet who has lately concentrated on digital poetry with good deal of success. He has created poetry machines, including the notorious Goggi available in four languages. Jón also writes "normal" poetry. Visit his webpage here: http://lodmfjord.is for nonsense details in Icelandic.

Bragi Páll Sigurðarson

Name: Bragi Páll Sigurðarson
(Bragi = Old Norse god of poetry / Páll = Old Norse word for shovel / Sigurðarson = Son of victory)
Born in 1984
Started lying/telling stories 1985
First job as sailor 1992
Possessed by ********* since birth

Bjargey Ólafsdóttir

Bjargey Ólafsdóttir is a visual artist + a writer/director from Reykjavík. Her artistic practice is eclectic – she picks the medium she feels is most apt for each project. Bjargey works in film, sound art, performance art, drawing, painting and photography. Right now, she is shut away in her studio preparing the feature film Horrorpop and making new works for a solo exhibition that is to open up in New York in april 2010.

a.rawlings

a.rawlings is a Canadian poet and multidisciplinary artist. The recipient of the bpNichol Award for Distinction in Writing (2001), angela has worked with many arts organizations, including The Mercury Press, Lexiconjury Reading Series, Theatre Gargantua, and the TV series Heart of a Poet. She also instructs text and sound workshops for the Toronto Public Library, Learning through the Arts, and Ryerson University.

Working with derek beaulieu and Jason Christie, angela co-edited Shift & Switch: New Canadian Poetry (Mercury, 2005). Her first book, Wide slumber for lepidopterists (Coach House Books, 2006), was featured in The Globe and Mail’s top 100 books of 2006; it went on to receive an Alcuin Award for Design and was nominated for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award. Wide slumber was recently translated from page to stage for Harbourfront Centre’s Hatch: Emerging Performance Projects in Toronto.

angela is currently researching sound, text, and movement, with special emphases on vocal/contact improvisation and acoustic ecology. She lives in Toronto.

 

more Icelandic Poetry in English

Icelandic Poet Eiríkur Örn Nordahl comes to us via the good work of Canadian Poets derek beaulieu, angela rawlings & Hugh Thomas, who have collaborated with him in various ways in this publication from BookThug. It is another fine example of a linguistic space between cultures and languages, one that blurs edges on maps and in history and the kinds of marks and sounds that humans make. In it we find Canadians taking on a language they "don't understand," with their work being translated for them into English; translations of Icelandic into Enlgish; in one interesting case a visual poem -- a medium that is meant to create an untranslatable space between languages -- is actually presented in two versions, one for each language. Also included is a letter from Eiríkur Örn Nordahl himself, in English, on the subject of IceCanadian Poetry as a historical & cultural movement.

Your artifact includes one large folded tabloid sheet upon which is printed a visual poem by derek beaulieu, into which has been inserted two smaller folded sheets, one with a letter from Eiríkur Örn Nordahl and the other with a poem/translation by angela rawlings for Eiríkur Örn Nordahl, and four "flashcards" of Icelandic Poetry by Hugh Thomas with translations by Eiríkur Örn Nordahl.

Available from BookThug: http://bookthug.ca/proddetail.php?prod=200918

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