Readings and Other Events at Nordic House

There is a small restaurant in the Nordic House, which opens at 11:30 AM. If you would like to have lunch or dinner there, reservations must be made in advance at Drinks will be available for sale during the Authors’ Evenings. The Nordic House is at a 5 min. walking distance from the University of Iceland, at Sturlugata 5, 101 Reykjavík.



Talk: 11:40 – 12:20 PM
So Who Are You? 1) On My Success at Home 2) On My Success Abroad

Bjarni Bjarnason was born in Reykjavík in 1965. He grew up abroad, but started publishing in Iceland as a teenager. He’s authored multiple novels, as well as collections of poetry, short stories, and plays. He’s received the Tómas Guðmundsson Award, a short story award from the Icelandic Broadcasting Service, and the Halldór Laxness Literature Award among other honors.


Authors’ Evening: 9-11:30 PM
Book launch: Shaping the Fractured Self: Poetry of chronic illness and pain - Heather Taylor Johnson, Fiona Wright, Quinn Eades

Fiona Wright’s book of essays Small Acts of Disappearance won the 2016 Kibble Award, and her poetry collection Knuckled, won the 2012 Dame Mary Gilmore Award. She has recently completed a PhD at Western Sydney University’s Writing & Society Research Centre.

Heather Taylor Johnson is the author of two novels and four books of poetry. She is the poetry editor for Transnational Literature and the editor of the forthcoming anthology The Fractured Self Whole: Poetry of Chronic Illness and Pain (UWAP). She has a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Adelaide.

Quinn Eades is a researcher, writer, and award-winning poet whose work lies at the nexus of feminist, queer and trans theories of the body, autobiography, and philosophy. Eades is published nationally and internationally, and is the author of all the beginnings: a queer autobiography of the body, published by Tantanoola.



Ariel Gore: Reading from The End of Eve and We Were Witches

Ariel Gore is founding editor of Hip Mama, executive director of Lit Star Press, and author of eight books including Atlas of the Human Heart and The End of Eve. She has won a Lambda Literary Award, an American Alternative Press Award, a New Mexico-Arizona Book Award, and a Rainbow Award.

Elísabet Jökulsdóttir: Reading from Heilræði Lásasmiðsins (The Locksmith’s Advice) and Ástin ein taugahrúga: enginn dans við Ufsaklett (Love is a Mess of Nerves: No Dancing at Ufsaklettur)

Born in Reykjavík in 1958, Elísabet has had all sorts of jobs, from artist’s model and construction worker to deckhand, journalist, and assistant director at the National Theatre. Elísabet has published poetry, short stories, novels, and plays. Her poetry collection Ástin ein taugahrúga: enginn dans við Ufsaklett was awarded The Women’s Literature Award and was nominated for The Nordic Council’s Literature Prize.

Tim Tomlinson: Reading from Yolanda: An Oral History in Verse and Requiem for the Tree Fort I Set on Fire

Tim Tomlinson is co-founder of New York Writers Workshop and co-author of its popular text, The Portable MFA in Creative Writing. He is also the author of the poetry collections Yolanda: An Oral History in Verse, and Requiem for the Tree Fort I Set on Fire. This Is Not Happening to You, a collection of short fiction, will appear in Fall 2017. He’s a member of Asia Pacific Writers & Translators. He currently lives in Brooklyn with his wife.

Vilborg Davíðsdóttir: Reading from Ástin, drekinn og dauðinn (On Love Dragons and Dying)

Born in 1965 in Þingeyri, Vilborg has worked as a journalist, reporter and producer in various media from 1985 to 2000. She has since dedicated herself to writing and translating, and is also studying for a master’s degree in Folkloristics at the University of Iceland. She’s written a number of historical novels and award-winning works for young readers. Vilborg has also twice been nominated for the Icelandic Literature Prize. She lives in Reykjavík.

Gerður Kristný: Reading from Drápa (soon to be released in the English translation of Rory McTurk)

Gerður Kristný, born in Reykjavík, Iceland 1970, is a highly versatile and prolific author. For the past 25 years she has written poems, novels, YA stories, short stories, children’s books, stage plays and nonfictional works. She has received numerous awards for her work including Icelandic Journalism Awards for a nonfictional publication on children abuse and the Icelandic Literary Awards for the poem cycle Bloodhoof, also nominated for the Nordic Council Literary Awards. Her latest work is the novel Hestvík.

Wayne Koestenbaum: Reading from My 1980s & Other Essays and The Pink Trance Notebooks

Wayne Koestenbaum is the author of Humiliation; Hotel Theory; the novel Moira Orfei in Aigues-Mortes; Cleavage: Essays on Sex, Stars, and Aesthetics; and the National Book Critics Circle Award–nominated The Queen’s Throat: Opera, Homosexuality, and the Mystery of Desire (1993), as well as several collections of poetry.



Screening: 9 AM – 9 PM
Video Installation: Environment, Memory & Things - a video installation based on the art collaboration ‘Water Rising’

In 2012, Leila Philip and Garth Evans set out to challenge themselves as artists. Philip, an award-winning prose writer, wrote poems. Evans, an internationally renowned sculptor, made watercolors. Water Rising tells the story of this remarkable collaboration. Philip’s realist poems—about nature, beauty, love, and loss, set amongst Evans’ abstract, deeply hued, layered watercolors, create a book which is more than just a gorgeous read and a visual feast. What emerges in this book is a stunning and original collaboration, which, as Worcester Art Museum Director, Matthias Waschek, points out in his introduction, extends how we think about the relationship between painting and poetry.


Artist talk: 11:40 – 12:20 PM

Leila Philip: Environment, Memory & Things - a video installation based on the art collaboration ‘Water Rising’

Leila Philip is the author of three books of literary nonfiction and a collaborative work with artist, Garth Evans. She has received numerous awards, including from the Guggenheim and the National Endowment for the Arts. She is a contributing writer for Art Critical and writes frequently for The Boston Globe.


Authors’ Evening: 9 – 11:30 PM

Address: First Lady of Iceland Eliza Reid, co-founder of the Iceland Writers Retreat.



Gretel Ehrlich: Reading from This Cold Heaven. Seven Seasons in Greenland

Gretel Ehrlich is the author of 15 books. She has received many awards for her writing, including from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and PEN USA. She has widely published in Harpers, the Atlantic, the New York Times Magazine, National Geographic, and Orion among others.

Sigurður Pálsson: Reading from A Notebook of Memory

Born in 1948, Sigurður studied extensively in France, completing degrees in French, Drama, Literature, and Film Direction. Sigurður was one of the so-called Bad Poets, a group of poets that emerged in 1976 and has been nominated for the Nordic Literature Prize and awarded the Icelandic Literature Prize. He’s also written works for the theatre, as well as for television, radio, and the opera. Sigurður was the City Artist of Reykjavík from 1987 to 1990; he was awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1990, and honored with the Chevalier l’Ordre National du Mérite by the President of France in 2008.

Brenda Miller: Reading from An Earlier Life

Brenda Miller is the author of five essay collections, most recently An Earlier Life (Ovenbird Books, 2016). She co-authored Tell It Slant and The Pen and The Bell, and has received six Pushcart Prizes. She teaches in the MFA programs at Western Washington University and the Rainier Writing Workshop.

Jón Gnarr: Reading from The Outlaw

Jón Gnarr (b. 1967) was diagnosed as a child with severe mental retardation due to dyslexia, learning difficulties, and ADHD. He nevertheless overcame his hardships and went on to become one of Iceland’s best known actors and comedians, publishing the first two volumes of his fictionalized autobiography, The Indian in 2006 and The Pirate in 2009. The third volume, The Outlaw, was published in Iceland in the fall of 2014. In late 2009, Gnarr formed the Best Party as a joke with a number of his friends with no background in politics. The Best Party—which is a satirical political party that parodies Icelandic politics and aims to make the life of the citizens more fun—managed a plurality win in the 2010 municipal elections, and Gnarr served as the Mayor of Reykjavík for the next four-year term.

A. Kendra Greene: Reading from Vagrants and Uncommon Visitors and Anatomy of a Museum

A. Kendra Greene is the Writer in Residence at the Dallas Museum of Art’s Center for Creative Connections. Her essays on Icelandic museums have been published as a chapbook series by Anomalous Press. She holds an MFA in Nonfiction from the University of Iowa. 

Alda Sigmundsdóttir: Reading from The Little Book of Tourists in Iceland

Alda Sigmundsdóttir is a writer, journalist and translator, and the author of seven books about Iceland. She writes in English, and has written extensively about Iceland for the international media. She is a frequent commentator on Icelandic affairs, and has made it her mission to correct all misinformation about Iceland on the internet.

Aisha Sabatini Sloan: Reading from Dreaming of Ramadi in Detroit

Aisha Sabatini Sloan is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir, The Fluency of Light: Coming of Age in a Theater of Black and White and the upcoming essay collection, Dreaming of Ramadi in Detroit, chosen by Maggie Nelson as the winner of the 1913 Open Prose Book Contest. She is a contributing editor for Guernica: A Magazine of Art and Politics and a staff writer at Autostraddle.



Screening: 9 AM – 9 PM
Video Installation: Environment, Memory & Things - a video installation based on the art collaboration ‘Water Rising’


Talk: 1:15 – 1:45 PM

Leila Philip: Environment, Memory & Things - Art and Environment Protection

Leila Philip is the author of three books of literary nonfiction and a collaborative work with artist, Garth Evans. She has received numerous awards, including from the Guggenheim and the National Endowment for the Arts. She is a contributing writer for Art Critical and writes frequently for The Boston Globe.