Two famous Viking poets, one from the 10th century, the bloodthirsty Egill Skallagrimsson, and the other from the 12th century, the (only slightly) more peaceful Rognvaldur, Earl of Orkney, tell of their exploits on the battlefield, as rulers, and in love. With examples of how the Viking language of Skaldic sounded, and what it looked like, these translations will give you a real flavour of what life in northern Europe was like over a thousand years ago.
Celebrated Icelandic writer Gerður Kristný’s Drápa is a novel-poem which takes its form from Old Norse shield poetry and its mood from modern Nordic crime. But the poem is no fiction, it is about a real woman’s murder in the city of Reykjavik, and, through this lens, about all women’s deaths. This is Viking poetry at its most contemporary.
Gerður Kristný has published poetry, short stories, novels, books for children. Her poetry collection Höggstaður was nominated for the Icelandic Literature Prize in 2007 and she won the prize in 2010 for her poetry book Blóðhófnir.
The event features readings of Ian Crockatt’s translations of the Viking verses of 12th century Earl of Orkney Rögnvald Kali Kolsson. Crimsoning the Eagle’s Claw: Viking Poems of Rögnvald Kali Kolsson, Earl of Orkney was published in 2014 and was a Poetry Book Society Recommended Translation. Skaldic poetry is one of the most elaborate and original in European literature and this collection finally brings it to the attention of the English language reader.
Ian Crockatt has published six collections of his own poetry. He lives on a small croft in North East Scotland and is currently working on a new collection of poetry, Red Cave Poems.