The National and University Library of Iceland in cooperation with The Writers´ Union of Iceland awards a prize for a book of poetry published in the year 2022. The May Star Poetry Prize was presented for the seventh time at a ceremony at the National Library on 24 May.
The May Star Poetry Prize 2022 was awarded to Bergthóra Snæbjörnsdóttir for her book Allt sem rennur (Everything that flows).
The jury's comment on the award book states:
"The poems in Allt sem rennur (Everything that flows) seem like rough fragments of reality, but form a beautiful whole that forces the reader not only to look at reality with fresh eyes, but also at himself and, moreover, to deal with both. The poems are impressive on their own, standing as quick portraits, searing narratives, beautiful prototypes that form a vast whole. The poet achieves a unique relationship with the reader in a dynamic and enlightening way. Everything that flows is a work that bears witness to the magic of poetry."
Bergthóra Snæbjörnsdóttir was born in 1985 and grew up on Úlfljótsvatn in Grafningur in Iceland. She has a bachelor's degree in psychology and creative writing from the University of Iceland and a master's degree in cultural communication from the same institution. Her first book of poetry, Daloon dagar, was published in 2011. In 2017, she published the book of poetry Florida, which was nominated for the Icelandic Literature Prize and the May Star. The novel Svínshöfuð was published in the fall of 2019 and was nominated for the Icelandic Literature Prize, as well as receiving Fjöruverðlaunin Literature Prize and the Booksellers' Prize for the best novel. Most recently, the poetry story Allt sem rennur was published in the fall of 2022 by Benedikt book publishing. Excerpts from Bergthóra´s books have been translated and published in various books and magazines around the world. In addition to writing, Bergthóra has staged performances in collaboration with visual artist Rakel McMahon under the banner of Wunderkind Collective, and their work has been shown at various festivals and art events in Iceland and Europe. Bergthóra lives and works in Reykjavík and is cohabiting with the writer Bragi Páll Sigurðarson. Together they have children Úrsúla and Eggert.
All Icelandic poetry books published in 2022 that were submitted to the National and University Library of Iceland were eligible, and the jury received them for discussion. The jury consisted of Arnór Ingi Hjartarson on behalf of the Writers' Union and Emma Björk Hjálmarsdóttir on behalf of the National Library. Maístjarnan is the only prize in Iceland awarded for a book of poetry published. The prize is intended to draw special attention to the flourishing publication of poetry books in Iceland as well as the importance of Legal deposit to the National and University Library of Iceland and thus preserving them as part of the nation's cultural heritage.
An exhibition of the awarded book and earlier works by the prize winner was opened on this occasion.
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