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The Nordic Council Literature Prize Nominees: Faroe Islands

October 11, 2022—1:00 pm2:00 pm

This fall, join us for a virtual literary series with the nominees of this year’s Nordic Council Literature Prize! Awarded since 1962 alongside other prizes from the Nordic Council in music, film, and environment, the Literature Prize is selected annually for a work of fiction (poetry, prose, or drama) written in one of the Nordic languages,  Created to generated greater interest in the sense of Nordic cultural community and to recognize unique artistic endeavors, each year’s prize is selected by the Nordic Adjudication Committee, made up of two members from each of the Nordic nations.

This year’s nominee from the Faroe Islands, Beinir Bergsson’s poetry collection Sólgarðurin (Forlagið Eksil, 2021) follows his debut Tann lítli drongurin og beinagrindin, which portrays the loss of a parent, the poet-self”s father. In his follow-up collection, the poet is now preoccupied with closeness, intimacy and sexuality: specifically, between the bodies of two boys.

Set primarily in two locations, the bed in a bedroom and the grandmother’s garden, Sólgarðurin has been described by Bergsson as both a concrete physical space and an abstract mental space.

In this talk, Bergsson will discuss the collection with translator Randi Ward, a 2021 ASF Translation Prizewinner for her translation from Faroese of Kim Simonsen’s 2013 poetry collection Hvat hjálpir einum menniskja at vakna ein morgun hesumegin hetta áratúsundið (What good does it do for a person to wake up one morning this side of the new millennium).

This event will take place as a Zoom webinar; please ask questions in the chat or send them in advance to Registration is required; please sign up at the link above. This conversation will be recorded and available later to stream on our Virtual Programming page and on our YouTube channel.

About the Speakers

Beinir Bergsson made his debut in 2017 with the poetry collection Tann lítli drongurin og beinagrindin, which portrays, inter alia, the loss of a parent, the poet-self’s father. The debut work won EBBA-virðislønin, the annual literature prize of the Faroese Writers’ Association. The poetry collection is translated to Icelandic and Greek. In Sólgarðurin (Forlagið Eksil, 2021), the poet-self is now older. From being preoccupied with absence and distance, he is now preoccupied with closeness, intimacy and sexuality: specifically, between the bodies of two boys. And specifically, by creating space for their sexuality. Beinir himself has described Sólgarðurin in the media as both a concrete physical space and an abstract mental space. The poems are set primarily in two locations: in particular, the bed in a bedroom and the grandmother’s garden.

Randi Ward is a poet, translator, lyricist, and photographer from Belleville, West Virginia. She earned her MA in Cultural Studies from the University of the Faroe Islands and has twice won the American-Scandinavian Foundation’s Nadia Christensen Prize. Her work has appeared in AsymptoteBeloit Poetry JournalWords Without BordersWorld Literature Today and also been featured on Folk Radio UK, NPR, and PBS NewsHour. Ward’s translations, writing, and photography are used in high school and university classrooms throughout the United States and abroad. She is a recipient of Shepherd University’s Appalachian Photography Award, and Cornell University Library established the Randi Ward Collection in its Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections in 2015.


October 11, 2022
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm