With an Introduction by Stephen Cain
Produced in conjunction with the author’s appearance at Harbourfront’s 2004 International Festival of Authors in Toronto as part of their SuperDanish Festival, Pencil of Rays and Spiked Mace is the first full-length collection in English by Niels Lyngsø, one of the most original poets working in Denmark today. Translated by New York poet, scholar, and translator Gregory Pardlo, who worked closely with the author to capture not only the multiple nuances of each poem but to also transpose their deliberate physical and visual properties, Pencil of Rays and Spiked Mace contains work from three of Lyngsø’s collections: Stof [Matter], Force Majeure [Force Majeure], and MORFEUS [MORPHEUS].
Like their Danish originals, these poems “make reading happen” and are a fascinating introduction to the visionary and conceptual landscape of a truly unique poet whose work, as Stephen Cain suggests in his introduction, shares similar qualities to the poetry of some of Canada’s more daring practitioners, such as bill bissett, bpNichol, and Christian Bök.
Niels Lyngsø is the author of four collections of poetry in Danish. His newest book MORFEUS is a fascinating and striking collection of poetry and essays on poetics designed by the author as a unique book-object. Published in 2004 to much critical acclaim, MORFEUS is a book with multiple layers of meaning and possible interpretations that, like Pencil of Rays and Spiked Mace, ultimately showcases its author as a unique and daring voice in European literature.
Gregory Pardlo’s collection Digest (Four Way Books) won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Digest was also shortlisted for the 2015 NAACP Image Award and is a current finalist for the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award. His other honors include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts; his first collection Totem was selected by Brenda Hillman for the APR/Honickman Prize in 2007. Pardlo’s poems appear in The Nation, Ploughshares, Tin House, The Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry, Best American Poetry, and elsewhere. Pardlo lives with his family in Brooklyn.