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Reviews highlights - poetry

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Reviews highlights series

Thought-Provoking Poetry

This summer we are opening up our reviews archive to highlight some recent gems in Swedish-language literature, in lists curated by genre and age group. Whether your interest is in poetry or picture books, searing literature or spine-tingling thrillers, we hope that our reviews highlights will help you to discover something new.

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Image credit: Geran de Klerk on Unsplash.

Book cover of Ædnan by Linnea Axelsson


by Linnea Axelsson, reviewed by Brad Harmon

Albert Bonniers Förlag, 2018, 760 pages.

'Told from multiple perspectives involving two different families over the course of a century, Ædnan was one of the most notable books of 2018 in Sweden, not just in the field of poetry but for literature as a whole.'

Book cover of Naturbarn. Dikter i urval 1986-2016 by Eva-Stina Byggmästar

Naturbarn. Dikter i urval 1986-2016(Nature Child: Selected Poems, 1986-2016)

by Eva-Stina Byggmästar, reviewed by Martin Murrell

Schildts & Söderströms (Finland), 2017, 250 pages.

'Nature Child comprises an extensive selection of the poet’s works, taken from nineteen books in all, plus verse from periodicals, cycles and individual poems, now available to a general readership for the first time.'

Book cover of En kväll i oktober rodde jag ut på sjön by Tua Försström

En kväll i oktober rodde jag ut på sjön(One Evening in October, I Rowed Out on the Lake)

by Tua Forsström, reviewed by Martin Murrell and Anna-Lisa Murrell

Schildts & Söderströms, 2012, 43 pages.

'Each of the 32 poems in this little volume, the author’s thirteenth, could have an explication devoted to it, running to a monograph. However, the individual items not only have a life of their own but are inextricably linked to one another: they work together as a community, like bees in a hive.'


Vitsvit(White Suite)

by Athena Farrokzhad, reviewed by Nichola Smalley

Albert Bonniers förlag, 2013, 71 pages.

'Looking through the complexity and the games, something beautiful and rich emerges – a stunning piece of writing in itself, with a powerful dose of social and political analysis.'

Book cover of Tre vägar by Katarina Frostenson

Tre Vägar(Three Routes)

by Katarina Frostenson, reviewed by Anna Tebelius

Wahlström & Widstrand, 2013, 165 pages.

'With Tre Vägar (Three Routes) the poet Katarina Frostenson has written a hybrid text combining prose poem, journal, autobiography and travelogue. Described by its publisher as ‘words en route’, it  is a fragmentary pilgrimage to three seemingly disconnected places.'

Book cover of White Monkey by Adrian Perera

White Monkey

by Adrian Perera, reviewed by Brad Harmon

Förlaget (Finland), 2017, 60 pages.

'Throughout this short collection, multiple voices – of people who may not normally be heard or listened to – are articulated through the speaker, their experiences presented in a sparse language that combines the power of poetry with the realism of a narrative.'

Book cover of Undergången by Malte Persson

Undergången (Annihilation)

by Malte Persson, reviewed by Bradley Harmon

Albert Bonniers Förlag, 2021, 176 pages.

'While nature poetry has proliferated into a variety of other labels such as ecopoetry and Anthropocene poetry, what sets Persson’s book apart is its grand scope, grounded in today’s problems but panning in and out to encompass the entire scope of the human condition and the times that precede and will follow it.'

Book cover of Minnesburen by Eva Runefelt.

Minnesburen (The Memory Cage)

by Eva Runefelt, reviewed by Anna Tebelius

Albert Bonniers förlag, 2013, 124 pages.

'This is an unconventional biography by a first-rate poet in absolute command of her language. It is a singular collection of poetry in which the present is conveyed through the presence of the past.'

Book cover of Broderier by Burcu Sahin

Broderier (Embroideries)

by Burcu Sahin, reviewed by David McDuff

Albert Bonniers Förlag, 2018, 80 pages.

'In her delicate but severely crafted poems [Burcu Sahin] weaves the fabric of her world into a verbal tapestry that is not only a record of her personal experience and memory but also a shared testimony, a voice that she gives to women whom society has rendered silent.'

Book cover of Samlade dikter by Gösta Ågren

Samlade dikter 1955-2015 (Samlade dikter 1955-2015)

by Gösta Ågren, reviewed by David McDuff

Schildts & Söderströms (Finland), 2016, 552 pages.

'The work of Gösta Ågren holds a special place in Finland-Swedish – and Swedish and Finnish – literature... the scope of his attainment can be viewed in this substantial volume, which covers seven decades of poetic activity.'