WED—April 17—7 PM, free



MoreLectures + Literary

Presented by Scandinavia House and FarLit-Literature from the Faroe Islands in Fog Swept Islands: Faroe Islands Culture Days, join us for a Faroese literary event highlighting poetry, children’s books and the importance of translation, with bilingual readings, author talks and translator insights! In this program, four esteemed Faroese authors — Marjun Syderbø Kjelnæs, Kim Simonsen, Rannvá Holm Mortensen and Bárður Oskarsson — will be joined by translators Matthew Landrum and Randi Ward to read from their works (either currently available in English translation or forthcoming) and will discuss their shared existential themes and how they prompt reflection on our impact on the world. They will ask the question: do we leave any trace at all?


Bilingual Author Readings
The Karma Goat by Marjun Syderbø Kjelnæs. English translation read by Matthew Landrum.
What good does it do for a person to wake up one morning this side of the new millennium? by Kim Simonsen. English translation read by Randi Ward.
Suntaste by Rannvá Holm Mortensen. English translation read by Matthew Landrum
The Tree, Hilbert and Bob: Bárður Oskarsson presents his picture books

Artist Talk
Marjun Syderbø Kjelnæs, Kim Simonsen, Rannvá Holm Mortensen and Bárður Oskarsson discuss their creative process, themes and influences with moderator Randi Ward.

Translator Insights
Translators Matthew Landrum and Randi Ward discuss the challenges and joys of translating Faroese literature into English.


Marjun Syderbø Kjelnæs s (1974) is a well-known and active voice on the Faroese literature and drama scene, and has published a wide range of works since her debut in 2000. Her youth novel Skriva í sandin, 2010 won the Nordic Children’s Book Prize and was selected for the White Raven in 2011, and her latest youth novel Sum Rótskot was nominated for the 2021 Nordic Council Children and Young People’s Literature Prize. Her literary double work Karmagetin ans Gentukamarið was nominated for the 2023 Nordic Council Literature Prize. Marjun is a trained nurse, holds a master’s degree in language and literature and works as a full-time writer. Her works have been translated into the various Nordic languages as well as into English, French and German.

Kim Simonsen (1970) is a Faroese writer and poet. In 2014, He won the M.A. Jacobsen Literature Award for his poetry collection What good does it do for a person to wake up one morning this side of the new millennium? The collection has most recently been translated to Danish where it received a 5-star review in Ekstrabladet and a translation will be published in the US in 2024 by Deep Vellum. Simonsen completed his PhD in 2012 at the University of Roskilde and has published five poetry collections as well as numerous essays and academic articles. He is also the managing editor of Forlagið Eksil, a Faroese press that has published over 20 titles.

Rannvá Holm Mortensen  (1950) is a Faroese poet and versatile visual artist. Her art ranges from paintings, prints, installations and text to sculptures. She studied Fine Arts in Metafora International Workshop, Barcelona in 2014. In recent years, she has also worked with textile, writing, book illustration and interior decoration. Rannvá Mortensen regularly exibits in the Faroe Islands and internationally. In 2018 Rannvá made her debut with the poetry collection Suntaste which won her the M.A. Jakobsen Literature Award 2018. Her second collection Spring Milk was published in 2022. Suntaste has been translated into English and published in the U.S.

Bárður Oskarsson (1972) is a Faroese author and illustrator. He is known for his artistic and humorous children’s books with unique illustrations, resembling cartoon illustrations that clearly convey moods and atmospheres in a tiny wink or movement. He published his first book Dog, Cat and Mouse in 2004. His 2011 book The flat rabbit has won him several international literature prizes and has been translated into 20 different languages. Oskarsson received the Nordic Council Children’s and Young People’s Literature Prize in 2018 for his book The Tree. Oskarsson will publish his ninth book in 2024, Bob, the third and final book in the trilogy about Bob and Hilbert.


Randi Ward is a poet, translator, lyricist, and photographer from Belleville, WV. 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 Asymptote, Beloit Poetry Journal, Words Without Borders, World 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. Randi Ward is the translator of Kim Simonsen’s What good does it do for a person to wake up one morning this side of the new millennium?

Matthew Landrum is a poet, speaker, and translator who holds an MFA in creative writing from Bennington College. He lives in Detroit where he teaches at a private school for people on the autism spectrum. His translations of Jóanes Nielsen have appeared in Image Journal, Modern Poetry in Translation, and Michigan Quarterly Review. Matthew Landrum is the translator of Rannvá Holm Mortensen’s Suntaste and Marjun Syderbø Kjelnæs’ The Karma Goat.


This event is co-presented with FarLit.