The other day I was poking through a magazine while visiting my grandfather-in-law at the old age home. “ICELANDIC HAIR SCUPTRESS” caught my eye, followed by a charming story of one woman's Victorian vision of a flower whose petals were formed of human hair. Since then she has striven to create an oeuvre of artifacts so wonderfully pretentious it has inspired me to investigate the inert relationship between Icelandic and Canadian poets.

I recall meeting Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl at a Scream Festival event in Toronto, at which he performed sound poetry with none other than Paul Dutton. A fine performance it was, too. Afterward, I introduced myself, and Eiríkur handed me a CD with some of his work on it. My goodness, I thought upon listening to it, this is interesting. I then tracked down and listened to audio files of people speaking Icelandic and realized that theirs is a language that is, to English ears, inherently sound-poetic. But perhaps this is how English sounds to those unaccustomed to it.

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Icelandic Poet Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl comes to us via the good work of Canadian Poets derek beaulieu, angela rawlings & Hugh Thomas, who have collaborated with him in various ways in this publication from BookThug. It is another fine example of a linguistic space between cultures and languages, one that blurs edges on maps and in history and the kinds of marks and sounds that humans make. In it we find Canadians taking on a language they “don’t understand,” with their work being translated for them into English; translations of Icelandic into Enlgish; and in one interesting case a visual poem—VP being a medium that is often meant to create an untranslatable space between languages—is actually presented in two versions, one for each language. Also included is a letter from Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl himself, in English, on the subject of IceCanadian Poetry as a historical & cultural movement.

Your artifact includes one large folded tabloid sheet upon which is printed a visual poem by derek beaulieu, into which has been inserted two smaller folded sheets, one with a letter from Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl and the other with a poem/translation by angela rawlings for Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl, and four “flashcards” of Icelandic Poetry by Hugh Thomas with translations by Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl.

26 copies of an edition of 96 are available for sale as Moments Cafe #3.

Condition: New


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