On March 5, join us for a Nordic Literature in Translation event with this year’s American-Scandinavian Foundation Translation Prizewinners, Hunter Simpson & Randi Ward, and the authors of the works in translation, Stine Pilgaard & Kim Simonsen! Now in its 43rd year, ASF’s Annual Translation Competition awards prizes for outstanding translations of poetry, fiction, drama, or literary prose written by a 20th- or 21st-century Nordic author. In 2021, the Nadia Christensen Prize was awarded to Randi Ward for her translation excerpt 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); the 2021 Leif and Inger Sjöberg Prize was awarded to Hunter Simpson for his translation excerpt from Danish of Stine Pilgaard’s Meter i sekundet (The Land of Short Sentences).
In this program, Simpson and Pilgaard will discuss the writing and translation of The Land of Short Sentences, which will be out in the English language on March 1 from World Editions. In this understated and hilarious novel, Stine Pilgaard conjures a tale of venturing into new and uncharted land, of human relationships, dilemmas, and the ways and byways of social intercourse, as a young woman relocates to an outlying community in West Jutland, Denmark, and is forced to find her way — not only in the bewildering environment of the residential Folk High School where her partner has been hired to teach, but also in the inscrutable conversational forms of the local population. And on top of it all there’s the small matter of juggling her roles as mother to a newborn baby and advice columnist in the local newspaper.
Ward and Simonsen will discuss the writing and translation of What good does it do for a person to wake up one morning this side of the new millennium, INFO TK.
This event will take place as a Zoom webinar; please ask questions in the chat or send them in advance to email@example.com. 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 Authors & Translators
Stine Pilgaard is a graduate of the Danish Writers’ Academy and the University of Copenhagen. Her first novel, Min mor siger (“My Mom Says”), was a critical and commercial success, earning a nomination for the prestigious Danish Broadcasting Corporation Literature Prize and securing its author the Bodil and Jørgen Munch-Christensen Award for a debut author. In 2016, Pilgaard received the Danish Libraries’ Writers Award and was nominated for the Danish Readers’ Book Award for Lejlighedssange (“Songs for Special Occasions”). The Land of Short Sentences was an instant bestseller in Denmark, where it was released to critical acclaim. Pilgaard hails from the city of Aarhus and lives in Velling, an outlying rural community close to Ringkøbing in Jutland, Denmark.
Hunter Simpson is originally from North Carolina and lives in Copenhagen, Denmark. Stine Pilgaard’s The Land of Short Sentences (World Editions, 2022) was his first published literary translation and won ASF’s Leif and Inger Sjöberg Translation Prize 2021. My Mother Says is his second published translation.
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 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. 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. For more information, visit randiward.com
Kim Simonsen is a Faroese writer from the village of Strendur on Eysturoy. He completed his PhD in 2012 at the University of Roskilde and has authored 7 books as well as numerous essays and academic articles. He is the founder and managing editor of Forlagið Eksil, a Faroese press that has published over 20 titles. In 2014, Simonsen won the M.A. Jacobsen Literature Award for his 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, 2013). Simonsen has been a visiting scholar at Columbia University and Stanford University, an associate professor at The University of Bergen, and is now a member of The University of Amsterdam’s faculty. He also currently teaches creative writing courses at The University of the Faroe Islands and recently curated the Faroese art and literary festival, Always Coming Home.