Tarjei Vesaas, one of Scandinavia's greatest fiction writers of the twentieth century, was also one of Norway's major modern poets. As often happens in such cases, the fiction has overshadowed the poetry, especially in translation. In Through Naked Branches, Roger Greenwald, an award-winning poet and translator of Scandinavian poetry, presents a selection he has drawn from Vesaas's six volumes of poetry with the aim of revealing the distinctive sensibility and voice of Vesaas the poet. The Norwegian texts of the forty-six poems appear facing the English versions, which won the American-Scandinavian Foundation Translation Prize. Originally published in 2000 in English only, this is a new and revised and fully bilingual edition of this title which won major awards and critical praise upon original publication.
Tarjei Vesaas (1897-1970), the eldest son of a farming family in Telemark, Norway, is
among the giants of twentieth-century Scandinavian fiction. He won the Venice Prize in
1952 for a volume of stories, and the Nordic Council prize in 1963 for the novel Is-slottet
(The Ice Palace). His fiction has been widely translated. Starting in 1946, Vesaas
published five volumes of poetry during his lifetime; a sixth appeared posthumously in
1970. Many of his fiction titles are in print in English as his popularity remains strong.
Translator and Editor Roger Greenwald grew up in New York City, attended City College and the Poetry Project
workshop at St. Mark's Church In-the-Bowery, and then took graduate degrees at the
University of Toronto. He has published two books of poems, Connecting Flight
(Williams-Wallace) and Slow Mountain Train (Tiger Bark Press). His poems have
appeared in numerous journals (The World, Panjandrum, Poetry East, Pequod, The Spirit
That Moves Us, Pleiades, Copper Nickel, ELQ, etc.) and in several anthologies.
He has received major translation prizes in Canada and the U.S., including the
American-Scandinavian Foundation Translation Prize (twice); the Lewis Galantiere
Award from the American Translators Association; and the Harold Morton Landon
Translation Award from the Academy of American Poets (2015). His translations include North
in the World: Selected Poems of Rolf Jacobsen (University of Chicago Press) and
Guarding the Air: Selected Poems of Gunnar Harding (Black Widow Press).