Goran Sonnevi gets Nordic Prize

I’ll be on the road for the rest of the week & probably won’t get around to post. The article below on Swedish poet Sonnevi is taken from the Danish Norden magazine & appeared on 1 November this year:

The Nordic Council Literature Prize 2006 was officially presented to the Swedish author Göran Sonnevi on Wednesday. The coveted literature prize was awarded at a festive ceremony in Tivoli’s Concert Hall in conjunction with the Nordic Council’s Session in Copenhagen.

The Swedish author won the prize for his poetry collection ‘The Ocean’. Göran Sonnevi was chosen from amongst 12 nominated authors from the other Nordic countries in the spring. Two authors from Denmark, Claus Beck-Nielsen and Thomas Boberg, were among those nominated but it was the Swedish author who ran with the prestigious prize worth DKK 350,000.

The President of the Nordic Council, Ole Stavad, presented the prize to Göran Sonnevi who was clearly moved.
The evening’s literary principal character used his acceptance speech to read aloud from his poems which revolved around love, death and life. Themes which are recurrent in the great Swedish poet’s works, and which are strongly represented in his poetry collection ‘The Ocean’.

“’The Ocean’ is awash with words. You can submerge into them and let them swallow you up. It spans a life and a poetry which is still alive, is not over yet, and is still searching. Sonnevi writes poetry with an intense necessity, in constant dialogue with social and political events as well as dealing with personal issues like guilt and responsibility”, the Adjudication Committee wrote in its motivation earlier in the year.

The Nordic Council’s Literature Prize was awarded for the first time in 1962 and it is three years since the Literature Prize was awarded to a Swedish author. The prize was awarded at the same time as the Nordic Council’s Film Prize (the Swedish film ‘Zozo’), the Nordic Council’s Music Prize (composer Natasha Barrett from Norway) and the Nordic Council’s Nature and Environment Prize (professor and author Bogi Hansen from the Faroes).

Karin Arvidsson
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