Forthcoming and Ongoing:
FLIGHT PATTERNS: BERGHALL’S work for the Hólmsheiði prison
It was pleasure to work with artist duo Berghall (Anna Hallin and Olga Bergmann) in translating the texts for their new art book published on the occasion of their August, 2019, exhibition at Hafnarborg, Prison. Their public artwork for the prison at Hólmsheiði near Reykjavik continues to grow and change, as the arboretum that Anna and Olga planted in the prison’s entrance yard lives and grows, inmates modify the elaborate bird hotels situated among the trees, and, in a twist on the panopticon, monitor the wild birds’ activities on webcams hooked up to the prison library. The work also includes representations of birds’ flight patterns in the walls of the exercise yards. Texts by Sigrún Alba and Ransú challenge us to think about what public art means in a setting of incarceration, and about freedom, security, nests, and flights both in air and imagination.
My poem on HAWTHORNE in CAESURA
My poem “Hawthorne, Newlywed, Makes Peace with the River” is out in the print version of CAESURA, the journal of the Poetry Center San José. Based on Hawthorne’s journal entries from early in his marriage to Sophia Peabody, the poem traces his fresh inspiration through art and procreation at an Emerson-owned manse by the Concord River.
THANKS TO SALAMANDER
for its consistent support of my poetry. My poem “After the Eruption” appears in the June 2019 issue of this beautiful journal at Boston’s Suffolk University. Many thanks to Jennifer Barber, as she retires from her editorship of the journal.
THE GIFT TO THE PEOPLE – RAGNAR JÓNSSON AT SMÁRI’S FOUNDING COLLECTION AT THE ASÍ ART MUSEUM is now in print.
Exhibition through 15 September 2019 at Listasafn Árnesinga.
This beautifully designed major art book from the Icelandic Confederation of Labour gathers all the works in Ragnar at Smári’s founding collection for the first time in print. It was a delight to translate the essays and rich material on each painting by art historian Kristín G. Guðnadóttir and to work with museum director Elísabet Gunnarsdóttir. The book, published in June 2019, has been well received and has even found a place in the library at Bessastaðir, Iceland’s presidential mansion.
It is bracing to immerse yourself in Ragnar’s values at this time in history. A staunch supporter of writers and artists, Ragnar said that art feeds the soul as milk feeds a newborn. Guðnadóttir’s texts abound in commentary from Ragnar’s friends, who included Halldór Laxness, Jóhannes Kjarval, and many other authors and painters of Ragnar’s day.
My poem to SIR WALTER RALEIGH in THE SCORES
The new edition of THE SCORES is out as of May 1, 2019. My poem “To the Honourable, Learned Walter Raleigh – A Relation of Our Adventure in Iceland” and a recording of me reading the poem may be accessed through this link, but why not head to the main page of THE SCORES to see the beautiful cyanoprints, access the other poems, and listen to them read by their authors in a great variety of accents? “To the Honourable, Learned Walter Raleigh” was inspired by Raleigh’s Discovery of Guiana, a harrowing prose account of his expedition to the “New World” in 1595, as well as by old and new environmental reports.
NS-12 IS OUT
The bilingual (German-English) catalogue of the audiovisual collaboration NS-12 between filmmaker Kristján Loðmfjörð and composer Konrad Korabiewski came out from Hatje Cantz Verlag, Berlin, earlier this spring of 2019. This visual meditation on life on a fishing boat includes my translation of Kristín Ómarsóttir’s “It Took So Long to Invent the Woman,” her essay and extensive, playfully serious interview with Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, Iceland’s fourth president and Europe’s first female president. Other texts include Anna Friz’s “The Ruminations and Reveries of an Icelandic Trawler” and Daniel Canty’s “Gold Maker.” The black-and-white photographs, sketch, and wonderful cover give a sense of the video installation that the book is born from. Congrats to Korabiewski and Loðmfjörð.
MARCH 2019 READINGS
It was great to join poets and audience for the Speakeasy in the Encore Room at Bellingham’s Mt. Baker Theatre on March 2 for an evening devoted to Walt Whitman’s line, “What is it, then, between us?” from “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry.”
We exchanged poems on the theme of civil interaction in democracy, with contributions ranging from Rena Priest’s poetic reconfiguration of the 1855 Treaty of Point Elliott to Washington poet laureate Claudia Castro Luna’s evocations of Salvadoran immigrant experience in 21st century Seattle.
I’m looking forward to reading for the Poem Booth project on Saturday, March 30th, at 7 p.m. at the downtown Coop, Bellingham.
TIL HAMINGJU, ÍSLAND
Iceland is celebrating one hundred years of sovereignty, as a small nation in a contentious world. I enjoyed translating the new exhibition for Jónshús, the Icelandic Culture House, at the home of Jón Sigurðsson and Ingibjörg Einarsdóttir at Øster Voldgade 12, Copenhagen. Delightfully, the new exhibition emphasizes Ingibjörg’s hitherto neglected role in the struggle for Icelandic sovereignty.
A sampling from EYESOUND AT SEATTLE’S NORDIC MUSEUM
Through March 31, 2019: Works from the National Museum of Iceland’s summer 2018 exhibition EyeSound at the new, lovely Nordic Museum in Seattle. A collaboration between Danish photographers Eben West and Else Ploug Isaksen and Icelandic poets Sigurbjörg Þrastardóttir, Einar Már Guðmundsson, Kristín Ómarsdóttir, and Hallgrímur Helgason. To translate the poetry of these very different poets for the National Museum exhibition was a delicious challenge.
SUBARCTIC FRUIT has been reprinted
My essay on happiness, beauty, and the fertility of our surroundings, “Subarctic Fruit,” is out afresh this November in the Fall 2018 Silk Road, a literary crossroads, reprinted (from Silk Road #13, 2015) as an editors’ favorite for the magazine’s 20th issue. Many thanks to the editors for their support, and to Pacific University for its support of the journal.
My Town: WHILE THE RAIN SANG AND MY ROOTS CALLED OUT TO ME
Kristín Ómarsdóttir’s “Lyrical Look at Hafnarfjörður” appears in my translation in the Summer 2018 Icelandair in-flight magazine, Icelandair Stopover.
THE POEM BOOTH
I enjoyed reading my poem “Overseas Call from the Riverbank” with other Poem Booth contributors at the January, 2018, launch of their 2017 chapbook. The Poem Booth is a battered, colorful, converted phone booth outside the busy Bellingham, WA, Food Coop.
ICELAND: VISIONS OF EARTH
Massimo Lupidi’s beautiful book of photographs Iceland: Visions of Earth is now available in Italian, French, and English editions from Sassi Editore, with poems by Sigurbjörg Þrastardóttir (in my translation in the English edition) and a foreword by Eliza Reid, first lady of Iceland.
Public debut of THE MOON IN DAYTIME
Many thanks to Kristina Lee Podesva and Alan McConchie of Bruna Press / LocalGroup Studio for the opportunity to read from my novel, The Moon in Daytime—the public debut of a long-cherished project. How glad I was to see smiles cropping up around the room!
“ON THE WAY DOWN” in WORLD LITERATURE TODAY
Award-winning novelist Oddný Eir’s philosophical essay “On the Way Down: Fluttering Wings and Three-Dimensional Afterthoughts” appeared in my translation in World Literature Today Nov-Dec 2016.