26 May 2005

How to find a Norwegian poet

Because I was so enormously busy at home for the last few months, I didn't prepare properly for this brief trip to Norway. I should have found some poet contacts, so I could meet up with a poet, perhaps, and find out how poets live here. The Internet hasn't been particularly helpful, or perhaps I'm too lazy to dig deep enough.

Anyways, my one contact here did phone me this morning, on Dana's mobile phone. I'd left a message for him through the Arts editor of Dagbladet a couple days ago. I met Gunnar Kopperud a couple years ago at the Ottawa International Writers' Festival, and really enjoyed conversation with him. On the day of his departure from Ottawa, and of mine, we had breakfast together and he said he thought our paths would cross again.

Well, we're meeting up on Monday in Oslo, the day before Dana and I take off for Paris. Really looking forward to seeing him again. He's a fine writer, and a really cool guy. A newspaper reporter who, in his 50s, decided to tackle the novel form, as he wanted to cover the *human* side of war. I read his World War II novel, A Time of Light, and loved it. He has one more book in English, Longing, but I see in the bookstores here in Oslo that he has at least a couple of other books, including the just-released Inauguration (actually, the title is in Norwegian, but I don't remember it right now; the book hasn't yet appeared in English).

Meanwhile, I've begun to adjudicate the Stuart Ross Award for Poetry Adventurism -- given to the most promising poet among Grade 12s in Nakusp and New Denver, BC. To my chagrin, only four students applied; I asked the teacher responsible to encourage some more to submit work. The bigger the net, the more chance of a prize catch worthy of my stinkin' $250.

The rain has finally abated, so I think I'll go walk the winding, interlaced streets of Oslo a bit now, leave a few of my little poetry leaflets around in places that might attract an interested reader. If anyone knows of a Norwegian poet who might like to talk with me, let me know.

Over and out.


At May 26, 2005 3:14 pm , Blogger gary barwin said...

So the phone rings and this guy says "To live is to war with trolls."
"Henrik?" I say. "Is that you?
"Ja," the voice says. "It is Ibsen."
"Well do you have any living relatives? Stu Ross is looking for Norwegian poets."
"A man should never put on his good trousers when he goes out to battle for freedom or truth."
"I see your point. Thanks. I'll let him know."

At May 26, 2005 9:20 pm , Blogger John MacDonald said...

Finally. Another blog to read. There's just so few you know. Bye, Stu. See you in Ottawa soon.

At June 02, 2005 5:36 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Excuse me sir are you the dikter? I'm looking for a dikter."

"No, I colour tulips when the sky is not bright enough, and the rain is trapped in clouds."

"You're the bloke I met in Holland? The mad poet who drank my beer when I went to the can?"

"Tulips. I colour tulips, when the ground is to tight and the beer is empty."

"I thought that was you."


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