The English translation of new work from a celebrated Danish poet.
Frayed Opus for Strings & Wind Instruments is a collection of poems that zooms in and out of places and states of mind, from a lit bicycle shed in the back yard to a root canal in November, from a typhoon in Hong Kong to instincts astray in various Copenhagen neigbourhoods. Elegantly translated by Canadian collaborators Per Brask and Patrick Friesen, these dreamlike poems attempt, with honesty and humour, to fathom what it is to inhabit a specifically unspecific point in life — not to mention in the Universe.
?In my pocket I have
the photo of the house, I have to stop continually, put
the suitcases down, take the photo from my pocket
and compare the house in the photo with the houses
we pass. In this way seventeen years go by.
— from Frayed Opus for Strings & Wind Instruments
Praise for the work of Ulrikka S. Gernes: "?airy and abstract, like pinching smoke? risky and intriguing." — The Antigonish Review
About the authors
Ulrikka S. Gernes was born in 1965 in Sweden of Danish parents. At the age of twenty-two she moved to Copenhagen, Denmark, already a published and highly acclaimed poet. Her first collection, Natsværmer (Moth), 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. In 2001 A Sudden Sky: Selected Poems, translated into English by Per Brask and Patrick Friesen, was published by Brick Books. Frayed Opus for String & Wind Instruments is the second translation of Ulrikka's work published by Brick Books (2015).
Patrick Friesen is the author of Blasphemer's Wheel, winner of the Manitoba Book of the Year Award and runner-up for the Milton Acorn People's Poetry Award. A Broken Bowl was short-listed for the Governor General's Award. His most recent work st. mary at main was shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. He has also written for stage, radio, TV and film. He lives in Vancouver where he teaches writing.
Patrick Friesen's newest collection Carrying the Shadow is a haunting ode to the lives we have felt too briefly, known only in passing and yearn to hold still. While those who loved them keen softly between his lines, Friesen invokes their loss as one remembers a cool breath on the back of the neck, a faint shadow on a headstone, a watermark on the bedstand. With wisdom and beauty and invention, Friesen walks us through the graveyard of human kind where a symphony of voices still conduct the lives left behind long after they depart flesh for spirit. Intermingling prose poems and traditional free verse, Friesen both narrates and sings the stories of absence and forgetting, tales of lingering memory and fleeting love. With infinite candor and sensitivity, Friesen celebrates the lives of idols and iconoclasts, wives and widows, farmers and freeloaders. For anyone who has urged another title in the canon of Friesen's award-winning work, here is a collection worthy of accolade. Death has no dominion, but poetry has dominion over all.
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.