Henrik Nordbrandt, one of Denmark’s foremost poets, has published over 30 books, including poetry, essays, translations, a novel, and a cookbook. In 2000, he was awarded the Nordic Council Literature Prize. He has spent much of life outside of Denmark, living alternately in Turkey, Italy, and Greece. English translations of his poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, New Letters, the Literary Review, and elsewhere.
Patrick Phillips (translator)
Patrick Phillips is a poet, professor, and translator. He is currently finishing his third book of poems, which he worked on as a Guggenheim Felllow. For his poetry translations he received the Sjöberg Prize in 2001, as well as the Translation Prize of the American-Scandinavian Foundation in 2008. He teaches Writing at Drew University.
Although most of his life has been spent abroad in countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, Henrik Nordbrandt has simultaneously and undeniably emerged, next to Inger Christensen, as one of Denmark’s very best contemporary poets. If it was Paul Celan who first claimed that poetry was “a message in a bottle, sent out in the—not always greatly hopeful—belief that somewhere and sometime it could wash up on land, on heartland perhaps,” it is nevertheless Nordbrandt’s unusually intimate poems that enact this unforgettably, as well as his persistent subjects: the joys and strangeness of travel, the tragicomic absurdity of our attempts to make sense of the world, and above all, the sweetness and ache of human love. Highlighting his entire career, the poems in When We Leave Each Other include a generous selection of recent and never-before-translated work into English that is certain to establish Nordbrandt as an essential contemporary lyric poet for American readers.
“Denmark’s most respected and honored contemporary poet has found in Patrick Phillips his ideal translator. . . . A translation that so naturalizes the original that it seems as if these poems have always been a part of our linguistic inheritance.”
“In Patrick Phillips's translations, Henrik Nordbrandt’s poems pour out as cold, clear, and mineral-tanged as spring water. Their enigmas astonish in their purity.... Nordbrandt is a master, masterfully reborn in English. This is a book of signal beauty and mystery.”