The Swedish Academy of the Nobel Prize announced this morning in Stockholm that novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah has been awarded the 2021 Prize in Literature. Born on the island of Zanzibar, off the coast of East Africa, Gurnah emigrated as a refugee to Great Britain as a student in 1968 to escape persecution during the Zanzibar Revolution. He studied at Christ Church College, Canterbury, and received a degree from the University of London. He received a PhD degree from the University of Kent. The central theme of his academic and literary works focus on postcolonial history, literature, and politics of colonialism and its impact on the people of Africa, the Caribbean and India.
Credits: A film by Joanna Bartholomew, Blakeway Productions
Copyright © Nobel Media AB 2011
Tomas Tranströmer receives 2011 Nobel Prize in Stockholm
Link to Memoir: https://tomastranstromer.us/memoir/
My trip to Stockholm was the end of this trip to Europe. A visit with Monica and Tomas had been meaningful as they had become friends in both my life and imagination. At the Writer’s Union before I left, I shared a conversation with Anya about our mutual interest in the American and Russian writers of our reading histories. As we talked on a bench in the garden, the sky and world around us expanded as literary angels looked down upon us and listened to our conversation. The sky above was busy towing its infinite, luminous blue cargo of birds, clouds, human dreams, and sunlight towards the end of day. We said goodbye and separated in two different directions: I would return to America and Anya back to Moscow. Inspired by the fullness of this trip on the way to the airport, I suddenly wanted to sneak aboard a train and continue on a night trip to Portugal, to Lisbon to enjoy more Europe! Not less, but more Europe.
Steven Ford Brown, “Memoir Stockholm”
Louise Elisabeth Glück born April 22, 1943 is an American poet and essayist. She won the 2020 Nobel Prize in Literature, whose judges praised “her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal”. Her other awards include the Pulitzer Prize, National Humanities Medal, National Book Award, National Book Critics Circle Award, and Bollingen Prize. From 2003 to 2004, she was Poet Laureate of the United States. Glück is an adjunct professor and Rosenkranz Writer in Residence at Yale University. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The band Røyksopp, from Tromsø from Troms of Finnmark, Norway, is one of the best-known electronic bands in the contemporary Nordic music scene (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden). Part of the European Union, the collective population of the Nordic region is 28 million people united by similar cultures and languages. A very active and popular nightlife in the region’s iconic cities (Copenhagen, Helsinki, Oslo, Reykjavik, Stockholm) provides large young audiences for the popular bands and musicians. After releasing two albums in Norway, Røyksopp received worldwide attention from music videos on America’s MTV in heavy rotation. Their song “Sparks” was licensed by Apple Inc. for use as the welcome music to the company’s Mac OS X Panther operating system (2003), playing the first time a user booted a new Apple-brand computer. In Norway the band continues to create and release their stunning music and videos to a global audience.
Mario Vargas Llosa’s speech at the Nobel Banquet in the Stockholm City Hall, December 10, 2010.
Copyright © 2010 The Nobel Foundation
Dutch actress, singer Louise Korthals of Amsterdam
The Blue House
It is night with glaring sunshine. I stand in the woods and look towards my house with its misty blue walls. As though I were recently dead and saw the house from a new angle.
It has stood for more than eighty summers. Its timber has been impregnated, four times with joy and three times with sorrow. When someone who has lived in the house dies it is repainted. The dead person paints it himself, without a brush, from the inside.
On the other side is open terrain. Formerly a garden, now wilderness. A still surf of weed, pagodas of weed, an unfurling body of text, Upanishades of weed, a Viking fleet of weed, dragon heads, lances, an empire of weed.
Above the overgrown garden flutters the shadow of a boomerang, thrown again and again. It is related to someone who lived in the house long before my time. Almost a child. An impulse issues from him, a thought, a thought of will: “create. . .draw. ..” In order to escape his destiny in time.
The house resembles a child’s drawing. A deputizing childishness which grew forth because someone prematurely renounced the charge of being a child. Open the doors, enter! Inside unrest dwells in the ceiling and peace in the walls. Above the bed there hangs an amateur painting representing a ship with seventeen sails, rough sea and a wind that the gilded frame cannot subdue.
It is always so early in here, it is before the crossroads, before the irrevocable choices. I am grateful for this life! And yet I miss the alternatives. All sketches wish to be real.
A motor far out on the water extends the horizon of the summer night. Both joy and sorrow swell in the magnifying glass of the dew. We do not actually know it, but we sense it: our life has a sister vessel which plies an entirely different route. While the sun burns behind the islands.
From The Blue House, translated from the Swedish by Göran Malmqvist, published by Thunder City Press in Houston, Texas. Copyright © 1987 by Göran Malmqvist. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
“Kyrie” by Tomas Tranströmer
Created and produced by Amrendra Pandey in Bengaluru, India
Amrendra Pandey is a research scholar and PhD in Molecular Physics at Raman Research Institute, India.
At times my life suddenly opens its eyes in the dark.
A feeling of masses of people pushing blindly
through the streets, excitedly, toward some miracle,
while I remain here and no one sees me.
It is like the child who falls asleep in terror
listening to the heavy thumps of his heart.
For a long, long time till morning puts his light in the locks
and the doors of darkness open.
Dutch poet declines assignment to translate Gorman’s works
MARCH 11, 2021
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — A writer who was chosen to translate American poet Amanda Gorman’s work into Dutch has handed back the assignment following criticism that a white author was selected to translate the words of a Black woman who is the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history.
Marieke Lucas Rijneveld, who last year became the youngest writer to win the International Booker Prize with her novel “The Discomfort of Evening,” announced the decision in a Twitter post Friday.
A Dutch translation of “The Hill We Climb,” the poem Gorman recited to wide acclaim at the inauguration of U.S. President Joe Biden, was scheduled to be released at the end of March by publisher Meulenhoff.
The 2020 Nobel Prize Diploma
Glück in Cambridge
The American poet Louise Glück was born 1943 in New York and lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Apart from her writing she is a professor of English at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut. She made her debut in 1968 with Firstborn, and was soon acclaimed as one of the most prominent poets in American contemporary literature. She has received several prestigious awards, among them the Pulitzer Prize (1993) and the National Book Award (2014). Louise Glück has published twelve collections of poetry and volumes of essays on poetry. All are characterized by a striving for clarity. Childhood and family life, the close relationship with parents and siblings, is a thematic that has remained central with her. In her poems, the self listens for what is left of its dreams and delusions, and nobody can be harder than she in confronting the illusions of the self. But even if Glück would never deny the significance of the autobiographical background, she is not to be regarded as a confessional poet. Glück seeks the universal, and in this she takes inspiration from myths and classical motifs, present in most of her works. The voices of Dido, Persephone and Eurydice – the abandoned, the punished, the betrayed – are masks for a self in transformation, as personal as it is universally valid.
The Triumph of Achilles (1985) and Ararat (1990) Glück found a growing audience in USA and abroad. In Ararat three characteristics unite to subsequently recur in her writing: the topic of family life; austere intelligence; and a refined sense of composition that marks the book as a whole. Glück has also pointed out that in these poems she realized how to employ ordinary diction in her poetry. The deceptively natural tone is striking. We encounter almost brutally straightforward images of painful family relations. It is candid and uncompromising, with no trace of poetic ornament. It reveals much about her own poetry when in her essays Glück cites the urgent tone in Eliot, the art of inward listening in Keats or the voluntary silence in George Oppen. But in her own severity and unwillingness to accept simple tenets of faith she resembles more than any other poet, Emily Dickinson. Louise Glück is not only engaged by the errancies and shifting conditions of life, she is also a poet of radical change and rebirth, where the leap forward is made from a deep sense of loss.