“Everything About the Immigrant Experience In Iceland In Poetic Form”

Una publishing house recently released Pólifónía af erlendum uppruna, a collection of poetry by immigrants to Iceland. The book features fifteen different poets from nine different countries exploring aspects of their immigrant experiences. A press release proclaims that “it’s high time that the voices of immigrants are heard in Icelandic literature and this book is a good start.”

The concept was conceived by editor and one of the featured writers Natasha Stolyarova in collaboration with Una publishing house. After reading the work of Danish-Palestinian poet Yahya Hassan, she wondered about the lack of immigrant voices in Icelandic literature. During times of gathering limitations due to the pandemic, she rounded up some active poets and writers in Iceland – all immigrants to Iceland. “I knew around half of the writers already,” Natasha told Iceland Review. “The others were recommended to me when I shared the idea for the project.”

“We first met in the summer of 2020,” she continues. “Sometimes in person and other times over zoom, when the pandemic was raging.” They passed around notes of open-ended questions about their experiences in Iceland, of the country, the language, the people, and their interactions with them. This inspired some of the poets to write new work, while others submitted older work they felt fit the theme. “It’s everything they had to say about their experience as an immigrant in Iceland, in poetic form.” Even though the work is now complete, the group is now working on promoting the book and attending poetry readings and literary events during the so-called Christmas book flood. “So much has happened since we started this. People have moved away from Iceland and back again. Two of the poets have had children!” Natasha tells me.

The book is intended for Icelandic readers. All the featured poems are in Icelandic, some were written in Icelandic while others appear in the original language as well as Icelandic translations. With writers from 11 countries – including Russia, Italy, Colombia, Serbia, Denmark, Finland, India, Poland, the US, and Canada – the book has poems in languages such as English, Portuguese, and Finnish, and one poet even writes in their own version of the Icelandic language and developed their own script.

The writers of Pólífónía af erlendum uppruna are Ana Mjallhvít Drekadóttir, a rawlings, Deepa R. Iyengar, Elías Knörr, Ewa Marcinek, Francesca Cricelli, Giti Chandra, Jakub Stachowiak, Juan Camilo Roman Estrada, Mao Alheimsdóttir, Meg Matich, Natasha Stolyarova, Randi W. Stebbins, Sofie Hermansen Eriksdatter, and Vilja-Tuulia Huotarinen, with translations by Aðalsteinn Ásberg Sigurðsson, Brynja Hjálmsdóttir, Gunnhildur Jónatansdóttir, Helga Soffía Einarsdóttir, Kári Tulinius, Magnea J. Matthíasdóttir, and Þórdís Helgadóttir.

Ólafur Arnalds Nominated For Two Grammy Awards

Musician Ólafur Arnalds has been nominated for two Grammies at the 2022 Grammy Awards, one for best dance/electronic recording and another for Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals.

Ólafur is nominated in two out of the Grammies’ 86 categories. Loom by Ólafur Arnalds featuring Bonobo is nominated in the category of Best Dance/Electronic Recording. He is also nominated for Best Arrangement, Instrument and Vocals for the song The Bottom Line, performed by him and Josin.

This is the first time Ólafur is nominated for a Grammy but he has been nominated for a Bafta and an Emmy before. Ólafur told RÚV he hadn’t booked his flight to California yet for the January 31 award ceremony, but that he is very pleased with his nominations.


Grímsvötn Ice Shelf Drop Indicates Imminent Subglacial Outburst Flood

The Glaciological Society's spring trip to Grímsvötn on Vatnajökull glacier.

The ice shelf above the subglacial lake Grímsvötn has dropped by almost 60 cm[23 in]. This indicates that a glacial run-off flood from Grímsvötn is imminent. Such floods occur regularly, and although they have in the past set off volcanic eruptions, at the moment, there is no seismic activity indicating a threat of eruption.

The Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management’s Scientific Advisory Board met today to discuss the situation in Grímsvötn. The ice shelf over Grímsvötn has dropped by almost 60 cm[23 in] in the past few days, at an increasing speed. This would suggest that water is flowing from Grímsvötn and that we can expect a glacial run-off flood in Gígjukvísl river in southeast Iceland, not far from Skaftafell.

Based on earlier floods, the Met Office expects this one to surface at the glacier’s edge in the next two days and reach its peak 4-8 days later. At the moment, there’s no increase in Gígjukvísl river’s electrical conductivity, but an increase in electrical conductivity is the clearest indicator that a glacial run-off flood has begun. The Met Office also has gas detectors in place at the river’s source that would show when floodwater from the glacier is in the river.

The current Grímsvötn water levels would mean that the flood’s maximum flow was 5000 m3/s. A flood of that size is not likely to affect structures such as roads or bridges, although it is still too early to calculate the size of the flood.

It has happened before that a Grímsvötn glacial run-off flood is followed by a Grímsvötn eruption, the sudden loss of pressure when the water surface drops setting off the eruption. This last occurred in 2004, before that in 1934 and 1922. In 2004, a glacial run-off flood began on Oct 28, following a series of earthquakes indicating an impending eruption, which began three days later. No such seismic activity has been detected now. The last Grímsvötn eruption was in 2011.

The Met Office will continue to monitor the situation.