TUE—September 27—1 PM ET, free
*This event will take place virtually*


MoreLectures + Literary

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.

Danish author Solvej Balle has this year been nominated for her large-scale prose work Om udregning af rumfang (On the Calculation of Volume, not translated into English), the third of a seven-volume planned series about her protagonist Tara Selter’s dislocation from time, in which she no longer experiences the changes of weeks, months, or seasons.

Also nominated from Denmark, Rakel Haslund-Gjerrild’s Adam i paradis (Adam in Paradise, not translated into English) is a deeply insightful portrait of the painter Kristian Zahrtmann (1843-1917). And this year’s nominee from Greeland, Jessie Kleemann’s poetry collection Arkhticós Dolorôs (2021) explores abuse of nature by modern humanity, the loss of indigenous culture, and the struggle for a descendant of the Greenlandic Inuit to find a new identity in a modern, globalized present. In this panel discussion, the nominees will discuss their work with Tore Leifer (anchor, Kulturen) as moderator.

This event will take place as a Zoom webinar; please ask questions in the chat or send them in advance to  info@amscan.org. 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

Solvej Balle (b. 1962) made her debut in 1986 with Lyrefugl (Lyre Bird), and went on to write one of the 1990s’ most acclaimed works of Danish literature, Ifølge loven (According to the Law: Four Accounts of Mankind, 1996). She published a book on art theory, Det umuliges kunst (The Art of the Impossible, not translated into English) in 2005, a political memoir Frydendal og andre gidsler (Frydendal and other hostages, not translated into English) in 2008, and two books of short prose Hvis (If, not translated into English) and Så (Then, not translated into English), published simultaneously in 2013. Om udregning af rumfang is Solvej Balle’s major comeback, not just to Danish or Nordic fiction, but to European fiction in general.

Rakel Haslund-Gjerrild (b. 1988) is an award-winning Danish author whose oeuvre consists of short stories, philosophical cli-fi and most recently a historical novel, Adam in Paradise, a novel about art and homosexuality in the early 20th century.

Jessie Kleemann (b. 1959) was born in Upernavik, North Greenland, and is a trained actor and graphic designer. Kleemann is one of Greenland’s most significant and experimental writers, with poems included in many anthologies, and she has represented Greenland at many poetry festivals abroad. Filmmakers have used her poems as the basis for films: Arctic Ache (2014), directed by Diego Barraza, and Killerbird (2015), directed by Ivalo Frank. Outside Greenland, she is best known as a performance artist, in which the artist invests her body to explore the themes that the poems investigate in rhythm and words. Kleemann published her first poetry collection in Greenlandic, Danish and English in 1997, Taallat – Digte – Poems.

About the Moderator

Tore Leifer is a radio presenter, anchor of the daily show Kulturen at the national Danish Broadcasting Corporation. Among other degrees, he holds an MA in musicology, film and media studies and is the author of ten books in various fields. He is a knight of the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.