Poetry Travels with Anna Blasiak and Lisa Kalloo: *** (RABID WINDS) by Gerður Kristný, translated by Rory McTurk

Rabid winds
besieged the town
sent downpours down
to its very core

The winter war
had begun

City-dwellers
ran for shelter

By Gerður Kristný

Translated by Rory McTurk

From DRÁPA
by Gerður Kristný
Translated from the Icelandic by Rory McTurk
Published by Arc Publications (2018)


Gerður Kristný was born in 1970 and brought up in Reykjavík and graduated in French and Comparative Literature from the University of Iceland in 1992. She is now a full-time writer.

She has published poetry, short stories, novels and books for children, and a biography Myndin af pabba – Saga Thelmu (A Portrait of Dad – Thelma;s Story) for which she won the Icelandic Journalism Award in 2005.

Other awards for her work include the Children’s Choice Book Prize in 2003 for Marta Smarta (Smart Martha), the Halldór Laxness Literary Award in 2004 for her novel Bátur með segli og allt (A Boat with Sail and All) and the West-Nordic Children’s Literature Prize in 2010 for the novel Garðurinn (The Garden).

Three of her poetry collections, Höggstaður (Soft Spot), Blóðhófnir (Bloodhoof) and Sálumessa (Requiem) have been nominated for the Icelandic Literature Prize, with Blóðhófnir winning the prize in 2014. Bloodhoof and Drápa (The Slaying), translated into English by Rory McTurk, were published in bilingual editions by Arc in 2012 and 2018 respectively, and publication of Sálumessa (Reykjavík Requiem) completes the trilogy.

Gerður Kristný lives in Reykjavík but travels regularly around the world to present her work.


Rory McTurk graduated from Oxford in 1963, took a further degree at the University of Iceland, Reykjavík in 1965, and after teaching at the universities of Lund and Copenhagen, and then University College, Dublin, took up a post at Leeds University in 1978.

In addition to his two authored books, Studies in Ragnars Saga Loðbrókar and its Major Scandinavian Analogues (Oxford, 1991) and Chaucer and the Norse and Celtic Worlds (Aldershot, 2005), he has edited the Blackwell Companion to Old Norse-Icelandic Literature and Culture (Oxford, 2004), and co-edited, with Andrew Wawn, a volume of essays, Úr Dölum til Dala (From Dalir to the Dales) (Leeds, 1989) in commemoration of the Icelandic scholar Guðbrandur Vigfússon (1827-89). He has contributed editions of Old Norse works of literature to A New Introduction to Old Norse, Part II, Reader, 5th edition, ed. Anthony Faulkes (London, 2011) and to Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages, Vol. VIII, ed. Margaret Clunies Ross (Turnhout, 2017).

His publications also include two Icelandic saga translations, two book-length translations of scholarly works on Icelandic topics (one from Swedish, the other from Icelandic), numerous essays and articles, and translations (published in 2007 and 2015) of two novels by the Icelandic writer Steinunn Sigurðardóttir: Tímaþjófurinn (The Thief of Time) (Reykjavík, 1986) and jójó (Yo-yo) (Reykjavík, 2011).

His translations of Gerður Kristný’s Blóðhófnir (Bloodhoof, Reykjavík, 2010) and Drápa (The Slaying, Reykjavík, 2014) were published by Arc in 2012 and 2018.


Photo by Lisa Kalloo


Check out the Poetry Travels book list on bookshop.org.


Read previous poems from Poetry Travels:

ANSWER TO THE PRAYERS by Vainius Bakas, translated by Kerry Shawn Keys

AGGRESSOR’S MONOLOGUE by Artūras Valionis, translated by Jura Avizienis

THAT’S ALL by Jurgita Jasponytė, translated by Jura Avizienis

UNTITLED by Linas Umbrasas, translated by Audra Skukauskaitė

FIRST SPRING OF THE WAR by Vytautas Kaziela, translated by Jura Avizienis

A LETTER TO A CHILD by Lina Buidavičiutė, translated by Ada Valaitis

UNTITLED by Aneta Kamińska, translated by Anna Blasiak

TWO LYRICS OF LOVE AND MEMORY by Lina Kostenko, translated by Stephen Komarnyckyj

CROW STUDY by Yuri Andrukhovych, translated by John Hennessy and Ostap Kin

UNTITLED POEM by Serhiy Zhadan, translated by John Hennessy and Ostap Kin

UNTITLED POEM by Ludmila Khersonsky, translated by Maya Chhabra

UNTITLED POEM by Iryna Vikyrchak

From THE ANDROMEDA NEBULA by Anna Gréki, translated by Souheila Haïmiche and Cristina Viti

TEAPOT by Nurduran Duman, translated by Andrew Wessels

IT’S COMING AGAIN by Michael Strunge, translated by Paul Russell Garrett

REPORT FROM ANOTHER CITY by Marcin Niewirowicz, translated by the Author

INTERIOR by Ana Blandiana, translated by Paul Scott Derrick and Viorica Patea

THIS IS LOVE by Joanna Fligiel, translated by Anna Blasiak

REVELATION IN H&M by Menno Wigman, translated by David Colmer

*** (I WANT TO FOLD THIS DAY) by Inga Pizāne, translated by Jayde Will

THE SIEGE by Marcin Świetlicki, translated by Elżbieta Wójcik-Leese

FISH by Jana Putrle Srdić, translated by Barbara Jurša

THE WELL by Maarja Pärtna, translated by Jayde Will

THE SHADOW by Pentti Saarikoski, translated by Emily Jeremiah and Fleur Jeremiah

A FAREWELL TO MY DEAD CLASS by Irit Amiel, translated by Anna Blasiak and Marta Dziurosz

THE GIRLS IN BERGEN-BELSEN by Nora Gomringer, translated by Annie Rutherford

DECEMBER, by Jaume Subirana, translated by Christopher Whyte

ROSE RED, by Ulrike Almut Sandig, translated by Karen Leeder

*** (I D[R]IPPED MY PEN…) by Mario Martín Gijón, translated by Terence Dooley

WHAT COMES by Magda Cârneci, translated by Adam J. Sorkin and Mădălina Bănucu

TRANSLATION by Justyna Bargielska, translated by Maria Jastrzębska

*** (MY EYES, DENSE NIGHT…) by Gëzim Hajdari, translated by Ian Seed

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