July 30, 2011
Jan Erik Vold
Jan Erik Vold [Norway]
Born in Oslo, during the German Occupation, on October 18, 1939, Jan Erik Vold studied language and literature at the University of Oslo and the University of California, Santa Barbara in the 1960s.
His first book of poetry, mellom speil og speil (between the mirror and mirrors) of 1965 brought a new energy through his focus on everyday language to Norwegian poetry, and a break from what he described as the lyric tendency in Norway "to illustrate the world through beautiful images and gentle rhythms." His anti-sentimental work also pulled away from the depiction of the inner world the emphasis on the first person. Vold became a central figure in the so-called "Profile" group, named for the journal Profil.
Highly influenced by jazz and contemporary American writing, Vold has published over 22 collections of poetry as well as fictions, essays, and journalism. Several of his poems have been recorded with jazz musicians such as Chet Baker, Red Mitchell, Nisse Sandström and Egil Kapstad.
In Norway, Vold is also well known for his community involvement, particularly with regard to skiing and skating, particularly expressed in his collection of poetry, Spor, snø (Track, snow) of 1970.
The poet has received numerous poetry awards Gyldendalprisen, The Nordic Council of Literature Prize, the Brage Prize, the Cultural Council Prize, and the Tarjei Vesaas debut award.
He has also translated American poets, including William Carlos Williams, Robert Creeley, and Frank O'Hara, along with translations of Samuel Beckett.
Vold currently lives in Stockholm.
BOOKS OF POETRY
mellom speil og spiel (Oslo: Gyldendal, 1965); HEKT (Oslo: Gyldendal, 1966); blakket (Oslo: Komment Forlag, 1966); Svingstang (private printing of 700 copies); Mor Godhjertas glade versjon. Ja (Oslo: Glydendal, 1968); Bo på Briskeby blues (Oslo: Gyldendal, 1969); kykelipi (Oslo: Glydendal, 1969); Spor, snø (1970); Bok 8: LIV (Oslo: Gyldendal, 1970); S (Oslo: Gyldendal, 1978); sirken sirkel: boken om prins Adrians reise (Oslo: Gyldendal, 1979); Sorgen. Sangen. Veien (Oslo: Gyldendal, 1987); En som het Abel Ek (Oslo: Gyldendal, 1988); Elg (Oslo: Gyldendal, 1989); IKKE: skillingstrykk fra nittitallet (Oslo: Gyldendal, 1993); En sirkel is (Oslo: Gyldendal, 1993); Kalenderdikt (Oslo: Gyldendal, 1995); Ikke [illustrated by Steffen Kverneland] (Oslo: Samlaget, 1997); I vektens tegn: 777 dikt (Oslo: Gyldendal, 2000); Tolv meditasjoner/Twelve Meditations [in Norwegian and English] (Oslo: Gyldendal, 2002); Diktet minner om vrden (Oslo: Komment Forlag, 2003/enlarged edition, Oslo: Gyldendal, 2004); Drømmemakeren sa (Oslo: Gyldendal, 2004); Huset er hvitt: dikt 1970-1978 (Oslo: Gyldendal, 2005); En som ser: dikt 1965-1966 (Oslo: Gyldendal, 2005)
ENGLISH LANGUAGE TRANSLATIONS
Tolv meditasjoner/Twelve Meditations [in Norwegian and English] (Oslo: Gyldendal, 2002)
To read one of Vold's "Twelve Meditations," click below:
For a performance of his sung poem "Balladen om reven og råken," click below: