Per Brask is a Professor in the Department of Theatre and Film at the University of Winnipeg where he has taught since 1982. He has published poetry, short stories, drama, translations, interviews and essays in a wide variety of journals and books. This is his fifth volume of poetry co-translated with Patrick Friesen.
Patrick Friesen is a poet, essayist, playwright and translator living in Victoria, B.C. His most recent publications are jumping in the asylum (2011), a dark boat (2012) and a short history of crazy bone (2015). He has co-translated five volumes of poetry with Per Brask.
Ulrikka S. Gernes was born in 1965 in Sweden to Danish parents. At the age of twenty-two she moved to Copenhagen, Denmark, already a published and highly acclaimed poet. Her first collection, Natsvoermer, was published in Denmark in 1984, when she was eighteen years old. Since then she has published an additional ten collections, all of them received gratefully in the Danish press. She is also the author of two books for children, as well as many short stories, songs, and various contributions to literary anthologies, art catalogues, magazines, newspapers and Danish National radio.
“This collaboration between Danish poet, Ulrikka Gernes and Canadian writers, Brask and Friesen, is astonishingly successful, every line at home in its new language. The poems have not stopped being poems. In fact, now that they are speaking through three mouths (one female, two male) they seem to have gathered an extra layer of strangeness which suits their dream-like, mutable, almost anonymous voice: ‘Since then I have been standing in the subway singing to passersby and nobody knows my name …’ The world of the poems is twilit, borderless, melancholy, associative, seeping; and these qualities are carried over from the imagery into the fluid, blended structures of the verse. Full of arresting detail and quiet everyday language, this is the second Gernes book to be translated by these writers and it is masterful.”
Elegantly translated by Canadian collaborators Per Brask and Patrick Friesen, Frayed Opus for Strings & Wind Instruments is a new collection of poems from celebrated Danish poet, Ulrikka S. Gernes. These are lyrical, somewhat surreal poems that are nevertheless full of concrete, earthy details; they zoom in and out of places and states of mind, from a lit bicycle shed in the backyard to a root canal in November, from a typhoon in Hong Kong to instincts astray in various Copenhagen neighbourhoods.
Note: Summaries are taken from promotional materials supplied by the publisher, unless otherwise noted.
Ulrikka Gernes and Patrick Friesen read On H.C. Andersen Boulevard during rush hour (with Per Brask)
On H.C. Andersen Boulevard during rush hour
On H.C. Andersen Boulevard during rush hour
around five o’clock I’m a speck of stardust on a bicycle
wrapped in my life’s nanosecond, my life’s nanosecond,
my life’s nanosecond and this poem that doesn’t really
fit in anywhere either, and I have already wasted an infinitely
immeasurable fraction of the light intended for me, as I just
manage to glimpse the wing tip of a herring gull tear
a white cut into the air above Langebro, a tear in the blue
and there you are and there’s my daughter, the strings, the wind
instruments, a tiny stage and a fragile ship ascending on
the waving pillar of smoke from a cigarette someone
tosses and butts right now under the heel against a flagstone
in the universe and a bleeding cut on the lip screams,
have I loved, have I loved, have I loved enough.
From Frayed Opus for Strings & Wind Instruments by Per Brask and Patrick Friesen translating from Danish by Ulrikka S. Gernes
Copyright © Danish Copyright © 2015 by Ulrikka S Gernes / English Translation Copyright © 2015 by Per Brask and Patrick Friesen
More about Per Brask, Patrick Friesen and Ulrikka S. Gernes
The following are links to other Web sites with information about translators Per Brask and Patrick Friesen and poet Ulrikka S. Gernes. (Note: All links to external Web sites open in a new browser window.)
- Prof. Per Brask profile (University of Winnipeg)
- Per Brask profile (Fictive Press)
- Per Brask profile (Rhubarb Magazine)
- Patrick Friesen (official web site)
- Patrick Friesen profile (Canadian Encyclopedia)
- Poets on Record – Patrick Friesen (Contemporary Verse 2)
- Ulrikka S. Gernes profile (Wordfest)
- Ulrikka S. Gernes – Poetry As a Language of Resistance
- Frayed Opus For Strings & Wind Instruments – Ulrikka S. Gernes (Brick Books) (Today’s Book of Poetry by Michael Dennis
Have you read Frayed Opus for Strings & Wind Instruments by Per Brask and Patrick Friesen translating from Danish by Ulrikka S. Gernes? Add your comments to this page and let us know what you think.