TUE—October 20—2 PM EDT



MoreLectures + Literary

Nordic Authors You Should Know at Scandinavia House continues with a focus on literature from the Faroe Islands with Rakel Helmsdal, Carl Jóhan Jensen, and Marjun Syderbø Kjælnes, moderated by translator Kerri Pierce. 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 Faroese literature today.

Please send audience questions ahead of the discussion to info@amscan.org. 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.

Support has been provided by the Nordic House in the Faroe Islands.


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



Rakel Helmsdal is an author, marionetter and artist. She made her debut in 1995 and has since written novels, plays and short stories for all ages. She is the director of Karavella Marionette-Teatur, where she produces her own plays. Along with colleagues in Sweden and Iceland, she has co-authored the popular series of Skrímslabøkur (Monster books) published in Faroese, Swedish and Icelandic, which have been translated into 19 other languages. Veiða Vind, a musical fairy tale, performed by the London Symphony Orchestra with a narrator in early 2019. Her YA novel Hon, sum róði eftir ælaboganum (2014) was the winner of a West Nordic Children’s Literature Prize, and Miljuløtur (2018) was nominated for the Nordic Council Children and Young People Literature Prize 2019. Her latest book Loftar tú mær is an illustrated children’s book for which Rakel has been awarded a nomination for the West Nordic Children’s Literature Prize and the Nordic Council Children and Young People’s Literature Prize 2020.

Carl Jóhan Jensen is one of the most original and provocative writers on the Faroese literary scene today. A poet and a novelist, Carl Jóhan Jensen is also a prominent figure in the public debate on culture and politics in the Faroe Islands. He made his debut in the early 1980s, and has published works of poetry, novels and essays. His works have been translated and published in literary journals in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany, Brazil, and the U.S. He has been a three-time winner of  the Mentanarvirðisløn M.A. Jakobsens, and has been nominated five times for the Nordic Council Literature Prize.

Marjun Syderbø Kjelnæs is a trained nurse with a bachelor degree in language and literature who has worked as a full-time writer now for some years. She has won a number of awards in short story competitions, and was awarded a three-year grant from the Faroese Cultural Fund in 2009. In 2015 she won the first prize of the new novel competition initiated by the Faroese Bookshop Association, and her lyrics Verð mín for artist Eivør won her the Best Song Lyrics title at the Faroese Music Awards in 2017. Kjelnæs is a versatile author and has published a number of poetry collections, short stories, novels, song lyrics and has also written manuscripts for film and theatre. Her latest novel Sum rótskot is a contemporary YA novel about four teenage friends.



Kerri Pierce is a writer and translator living in Honeoye Falls, NY. Her translations from eight languages have appeared in The New Yorker, Words Without Borders, and World Literature Today, among other places, and have been shortlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award and the PEN Translation Prize.

She has a Ph.D. in a Comparative Literature from Penn State.