G U A R D I N G T H E A I R
Translated from the Swedish and edited by
Itís hard to believe these poems are translationsthey are so clear, so exhilarating, have such an immediate and uninterrupted effect. Yet one knows they must be, because there is nothing like them in English. These invariably lively, lyric meditations and journeys to every imaginable time and place show that Gunnar Harding is a great contemporary poet; and in Roger Greenwalds translations we may have him as if for our own. Kenneth Koch
GUNNAR HARDING, perhaps the most prominent living Swedish poet after Tomas Tranströmer, started as a jazz musician, studied painting in Stockholm, and made his literary debut in 1967. He has publishedin addition to translations and non-fictioneighteen volumes of poetry. In 1992 he was awarded the Bellman Prize by the Swedish Academy, and in 1995 Svenska Dagbladets Literature Prize in recognition of his important role in Swedens literary life since the 1960s. In 2001 he won the prestigious Övralid Prize, and in 2011, the Dobloug Prize from the Swedish Academy.
Hardings appealing poetry is marked by a strong intellect and a great gift for imagery. Anselm Hollo described it as a tapestry that is musical as well as visualhumorous, bluesy, and always compassionate. Guarding the Air is the first large selection of Hardings poetry to appear in English: 112 poems drawn from eleven of the thirteen books Harding has published that contain poetry in verse. As well as line drawings by the poet, the book contains a brief introduction by the translator, a guide to the poetry in the form of Hardings prefaces to his three Swedish volumes of selected poems, and extensive endnotes.
ROGER GREENWALD has won the CBC Literary Award twice (for poetry and travel literature). His books include Connecting Flight (poems), Slow Mountain Train (poems), and North in the World: Selected Poems of Rolf Jacobsen, winner of the Lewis Galantière Award.
Boston: Black Widow Press, 2014.
Watch the launch at Ben McNally Books, Toronto, 8 May 2014 (below)
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