Watch the Book Launch and Reading:
Praise for Paal-Helge Haugen:
“Haugen’s poems inhabit the ‘charged stillness’ at the heart of being. They are deeply and unsettlingly suggestive of an unfathomable proliferation we are part of but can’t access—’a system of measurement/ you do not know’—and also of our compulsion to try to represent it. I am grateful for Roger Greenwald’s translations of this important poet.” — Karen Solie, author of Pigeon
“These poems are dark yet streaked with a strange light, precise and sober, that illuminates hopeless yet oddly consoling truths. Haugen’s vision leaves the reader no place to hide, cuts through its own gloom like a floodlight to find us defenseless, heartbroken, without illusions, but touched with a music, in Roger Greenwald’s seamless English, that manages ‘to leave some hesitant / marks of happiness.’” — Stephen Kessler
“What has made Haugen’s voice carry across the generations since his debut in 1967 is his way of uniting formal variety with intimacy. At the same time as he tries out new ideas of form, he consistently challenges readers to participate in a struggle between passion and distance in which our humanity is at stake.” — Ulf Eriksson, Svenska Dagbladet
Roger Greenwald speaks with Open Book Toronto
Paal-Helge Haugen has published sixteen volumes of poetry since 1967, including two volumes of selected poems and one of collected poems. His poetry has earned him five of the most prestigious awards in Norway—the Brage Prize, the Gyldendal Prize, the Nynorsk Literature Prize, the Norwegian Critics’ Prize, and the Aschehoug Prize—as well as the Dobloug Prize, awarded by the Swedish Academy. His work has been translated into some twenty languages. Stone Fences, translated by William Mishler and Roger Greenwald, and Wintering with the Light, translated by Greenwald, are Haugen’s two earlier books in English. Haugen has published four volumes of translations into Norwegian, several children’s books, and an award-winning novel, Anne, which has been translated into several languages. He has also worked with visual artists on various projects and has collaborated with composers by writing six opera libretti.
Roger Greenwald grew up in New York, where he attended The City College and the St. Mark’s in-the-Bowery Poetry Project workshop. His first book of poems, Connecting Flight, was published in 1993. He has received several major awards for his poetry, including the CBC Radio/Saturday Night Literary Award (1994). His translations from Norwegian, Swedish and Danish have earned prizes in the U.S. and Canada.