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Swedish Authors You Should Know – Virtual Panel

November 10, 2020—2:00 pm3:30 pm

TUE—November 10—2 PM EDT


Nordic Authors You Should Know at Scandinavia House continues with a focus on literature from Sweden with Athena Farrokhzad, Johannes Heldén, Mara Lee, and Carolina Setterwall, moderated by Elizabeth Clark Wessel. The event will begin with short readings of each of the authors’ work in both the original language and in English, followed by interviews with the authors and a conversation on Swedish literature today.

Please send audience questions ahead of the discussion to Select questions will be chosen for a Q&A following the conversation. Registration is required; please sign up at the link above.

The program will be presented live and will later be available to stream from YouTube and Facebook. Nordic Authors You Should Know will continue with more events throughout the fall.

Media support for the series is provided by the journal EuropeNow, published by the Council for European Studies at Columbia University.



Athena Farrokhzad (b. 1983) is a Swedish poet, based in Stockholm. She works as a literary critic, translator, playwright and teacher of creative writing. Her debut collection White Blight (Vitsvit) from 2013 has been published in fourteen languages and was translated to English by Jennifer Hayashida (Argos Books, 2016). She has released two more volumes of poetry, Trado in 2016 (with the Romanian poet Svetlana Cârstean) and I rörelse in 2019. Farrokhzad has translated writers such as Adrienne Rich, Juliana Spahr, Audre Lorde, Natalie Diaz, Jacqueline Woodson and Marguerite Duras to Swedish.

Johannes Heldén is a visual artist, writer and musician. His interdisciplinary works deals with poetry, ecology, artificial intelligence, sentience and narrative structures. Recent projects include the Encyclopedia AI (2015-2018) and New New Hampshire & Clouds (2017, for the Momentum biennial, hybrid installation/publication) and Astroecology (2016) which was published simultaneously in three languages, made into an interdisciplinary performance at The Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm and a digital artwork published by Bonniers Konsthall.  He has published four music albums, recently Takträdgårdar (OEI) and System (Irrlicht), and seven digital online works of poetry and visual art. Awards and fellowships include the inaugural N. Katherine Hayles prize in 2014 (for the Evolution project), and the 2015 Åke Andrén Art Prize, in 2007 he received the Maria Bonnier Dahlin Foundation grant for young artists, and in 2010 the Kalleberg scholarship from the Swedish Academy. He was awarded the 2018 Iaspis New York Fellowship, and is a fellow of the MacDowell Colony, Headlands Center for the Arts, Hawthornden Castle, CCA Andratx, NKD Norway, and others.

Mara Lee is a Swedish poet, novelist and scholar. Her most recent publication is the poetry collection Kärleken och hatet (The love and the hate, 2018) in which poetic, narrative, and essayistic language conjoin. Her work has been translated into German, French, Danish, Norwegian, Finnish and Spanish, and she is the recipient of several literary awards, including Svenska Dagbladets Literary award, The P.O Enquist Award, and Albert Bonniers literary Award. Lee’s literary work revolves around issues of power, otherness, femininity and transgressive desire. Lee is currently professor of fine arts specializing in art theory and art history at Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm. She is also the official Swedish translator of Anne Carson.

Carolina Setterwall was born in 1978 in Sala, Sweden. After studying Media and Communication in Uppsala, Stockholm, and London she has worked within the music and publishing industries as an editor and writer. Setterwall lives in Stockholm with her son. Let’s Hope for the Best is her literary debut.


Elizabeth Clark Wessel is the translator and co-translator of numerous novels, memoirs, and other projects from the Swedish, including Astroecology by Johannes Heldén, Let’s Hope for the Best by Carolina Setterwall, and the forthcoming poetry collection I Want You to Come Now! by Kristina Lugn.

She’s also a poet and a founding editor at the independent poetry press Argos Books. Originally from rural Nebraska, she spent many years living in New York and Connecticut, and these days she calls Stockholm, Sweden home.



November 10, 2020
2:00 pm – 3:30 pm