Killing yourself with poetry

August 23, 2009 in Articles, The Grapevine, The New Illiterati

‘Twas the eve of Nýhils 2nd international poetry festival, late autumn 2006. I was the manager for the second year in a row. For some reason I can’t remember we didn’t have any microphones. The Norwegian poet, Gunnar Wærness, had misunderstood his flight-information and missed his flight. The Swedish poets [...]

Poetics Anonymous

July 21, 2009 in Articles, The Grapevine, The New Illiterati

I became a poet for more or less the same reason everybody else did: I’m lazy and I wanted to sleep late. That was the job description. You get to sleep late, drink late and most people won’t ever find out you’re stupid because what you do is beyond comprehension [...]

Award this!

July 6, 2009 in Articles, The Grapevine, The New Illiterati

A few years ago the Icelandic poetry world was rocked by a tectonic scandal that nobody noticed for weeks (and by now, everyone’s forgotten about). The country’s most prestigious poetry award, Ljóðstafur Jóns úr Vör, was given to the wrong poet. A young man from one of Reykjavík’s neighbouring towns [...]

Poetry – to the death!

June 22, 2009 in Articles, The Grapevine, The New Illiterati

As I may have mentioned before, poetry was (in Iceland) once considered a gift from God, the misuse of which could result in the loss of said gift. Thus 17th century poet Æri-Tobbi had his gift taken away for giving false directions (in verse) to a group of tourists (all [...]

Two thousand krónur’s worth of freedom

June 11, 2009 in Articles, The Grapevine, The New Illiterati

Your language is somebody else’s property. Not only does it get dealt with in grammar books, by officials making official rules for how things can and cannot be – but everytime anybody gets a good idea for a phrasing, a metaphor, a pun or a pickup line sooner than later [...]

New News (stuff, essays)

May 11, 2009 in News

First: Mind the Sound, writings about the 17th century Icelandic nonsense/sound-poet Æri-Tobbi and my own work from his writing. Published in aslongasittakes and (in finnish translation) in Nuori Voima magazine. Second: Hay-grinder of the greenpeace-kitten earth-channels of the desert-asphalt sugar-free beach-found transparent salt-Coke – a column about ‘kenning’ metaphors in [...]

Mind the sound

May 11, 2009 in (a bit) longer essays, Articles

I It may have been the year 1600 – on the dot – that a child was born in Iceland (probably) named Þorbjörn Þórðarson. Perhaps it was later though, it’s hard to tell. No one really knows. And I wouldn’t want to lie. You deserve the truth. And he may [...]

Hay-grinder of the greenpeace-kitten earth-channels of the desert-asphalt sugar-free beach-found transparent salt-Coke

May 10, 2009 in Articles, The Grapevine, The New Illiterati

When modernism in poetry shocked its way through Europe in the beginning of the last century, people’s main concern was how the hell to understand it. The modernists would often build image upon image in ways that many readers found antagonizing – like oh so much posturing – and it [...]

Mayday in Helsinki

May 5, 2009 in The New Illiterati

Pictures from April 30th and May 1st in Helsinki. The march on April 30th was a student march, mostly protesting new capitalist legislature, that’ll make foreigners pay tuition and centralizes power within the universities, and makes them better serve the markets. Those that understand Icelandic can see the same pictures [...]

Focus on Iceland: The fanatic self-image

April 16, 2009 in Articles, The New Illiterati

Yesterday I gave a speech at an Iceland conference in Helsinki. Amongst other speakers were Friðrik Andersen, bank manager at the Nordic Investment Bank, and Pekka Mäkinen, regional director for Icelandair in Finland. I gave the speech in swedish, but for easier writing I composed it in english and then [...]