Deep North - Stories from Iceland

Iceland Review publishes translations of short stories by Icelandic authors.

Deep dives into current events, contemporary issues, and the lesser-seen sides of Icelandic society.

Interviews with artists, scholars, politicians or other notable figures in Iceland.

View Iceland through the lens of some of the country's most accomplished photographers.

Looking back in Iceland's history, at the curious incidents, colourful characters, and heroic deeds that shaped the nation.

Issues

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Shopping malls Iceland

Point of Sale

Reykjavík streetlife is something of an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms. In the winter in particular, locals abandon the main street Laugavegur to the droves of travellers, seeking the comfort of home during the dark days. But even during the

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Hörður Kristleifsson @h0rdur

In Full View

Hörður Kristleifsson is a 25-year-old photographer who’s been practising his craft since 2010, when he got his first camera. But

Gunnar Karl Gíslason, head chef at Dill

Chill & Grill, Salt & Sour

In the rhythmic flow of seasons over the stony Icelandic landscape, where the North Atlantic winds carry tales of resilience

Andkristni festival Icelandic Metal

Decades of Darkness

On December 21, the annual black metal festival Andkristni kicked off at the bar and concert venue Gaukurinn in downtown

Ice Guys Icelandic boyband

Melting Hearts

Long in the tooth Jón Jónsson had the idea for Ice Guys in early 2023.  It all began as a

Of the Great Mortality

Sigríður Hagalín Björnsdóttir is a novelist and a journalist living in Reykjavík. Her novels have been translated into many languages,

Icelandic folk dancing, Árbæjarsafn

Keeping in Step

It was a Friday night in Reykjavík, and I was looking for a dance floor. You may expect, dear reader,

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Hans Jóhannsson icelandic luthier

Fiddling with Perfection

It was half past four on a Sunday afternoon inside the Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre in Reykjavík. Three-hundred-and-sixty chairs, nearly all of them occupied, had been arranged in meticulous fashion within the Norðurljós auditorium. Twenty-five musicians, tickling four different kinds of stringed instruments, were performing Richard Strauss’ Metamorphoses on stage. And two people, […]

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aquaculture fish farming iceland

From the Archive: Grazing Free at the Ocean’s Expense

From the archive: This article was published in Iceland Review magazine in 1983. Archival content is presented in unaltered form and may not necessarily reflect the current editorial standards of Iceland Review. Aquaculture has been at the forefront of public

anne carson poet

From the Inside Out

As Anne Carson stepped on stage to accept the International Vigdís Prize, awarded annually since 2020 for outstanding contributions to world languages and cultures, she thanked the audience in two ways. What she called “the Icelandic way” consisted of a quoted passage from Njáls Saga concerning generosity among friends; “her way” comprised a “poetic event.” […]

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icelandic language icelandic flag

From the Archive: The Awful Icelandic Language

From the archive: This article was published in Iceland Review magazine in 1973. Archival content is presented in unaltered form and may not necessarily reflect the current editorial standards of Iceland Review. People set out to learn Icelandic for various

women's day off iceland

From the Archive: Women Look to the Future

On October 24, 1975, women across Iceland went on strike to demonstrate the importance of their labour, both professional and domestic. Known as kvennafrídagurinn, or Women’s Day Off, some 90% of Icelandic women participated in the labour action. Shortly after,

maría guðmundsdóttir

Keeping the Balance

Next year, Parity (est. 2017) is scheduled to release the adventure game Island of Winds. Loosely based on the so-called “witch-craze” in 17th-century Iceland, the game draws upon elements of nature, folklore, and history – with a focus on puzzles and empathy encounters. The game features nine unique areas inspired by Iceland, including glaciers, highlands, […]

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Kristján Kristjánsson

Heart to Heart

Every now and then, when I turn on the radio and tune into the National Broadcasting Service in the morning, they’re playing something a little different. A 40s country song, a patriotic hymn sung by an Icelandic choir, someone moaning the heart out of a blues song, or even a traditional chant of the old […]

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surtsey island iceland Vísindaferð í Surtsey 2023

Island in the Making

A wave crashes over us as we cling to the small rubber boat for dear life. I congratulate myself for having put all my camera equipment into a waterproof bag and curse myself for not having dressed better: I’m soaking wet, with puddles of seawater in my rubber boots. A group watches us getting doused […]

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sögugrein frank

Breaking the Peace

By the 15th century, in the chaotic and violent times of Joan of Arc, the Hundred Years’ War and the War of the Roses, Icelanders had become active participants in the rapidly expanding and highly profitable international trade between the English, German Hanse, Dutch, and Norwegian merchants. This trade would become fraught with tension that […]

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guðríður gyða eyjólfsdóttir

Mycological Magic

On a grey afternoon in late August, a small crowd has gathered near the old hydroelectric power station in Elliðaárdalur, a nature area near the capital. Helena Marta Stefánsdóttir, a specialist in the Forestry Service, has prepared a lecture on mushroom foraging 101 for the amateur mycologists gathered here. But it seems to be the […]

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poetry night reykjavík

Words With Friends

On a late-August Wednesday in Reykjavík, it’s bright and still, but there’s a noticeable fall chill in the air. As locals return from summer vacation, the cultural calendar kicks into gear and there’s no shortage of events to distract one from the impending darkness: concerts, stand-up comedy, theatre, opera, burlesque… But on this particular late-August […]

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natural resource iceland

A Wealth of Water

Close your eyes and picture Iceland. What comes to mind? A powerful waterfall streaming down a cliffside? Bluish icebergs floating in a glacier lagoon? A hulking jeep fording a highland river? Or maybe a steaming hot spring or a neighbourhood swimming pool? Whichever image is most evocative of Iceland for you, there’s one thing they […]

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