Writer Jónas Reynir Gunnarsson is this year’s recipient of the Tómas Guðmundsson Literature Prize, RÚV reports. The award is a monetary prize awarded annually by the City of Reykjavík for an unpublished poetry book. Jónas won the award for “Stór olíuskip” (“Big Oil Tanker”), which was released yesterday by Icelandic publisher Partus.
“Stór olíuskip” is the third work of Jónas’ to be published in just over a month. He usually works on several projects at once, citing that “when something gets difficult, it’s so good to escape into another one.”
“It was very satisfying for me to write this book and I felt I was discussing feelings that are very personal to me, and I felt good when I was working on the poems. During one period I couldn’t go to sleep without having worked on the book. So regardless of whether it had gotten published or not it was very good for me,” he stated.
Jónas holds both BA and MA degrees in creative writing. Besides novels, short stories, and poetry, he has worked on a screenplay and written a play which was staged in 2016.
He told RÚV: “I don’t particularly want to be a writer, I much rather just want to write, to be a writer in order to get to write, rather than the other way around. We all face the question of how we spend our time in this life we are given, and when your head hits the pillow, you know whether or not you’ve spent your time well and I feel that way if I’m writing. Not because I think it’s useful, or that it’s good for anyone other than myself. It’s very selfish, but very important to me.”