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Helge Torvund: Seriously Well

From one of Norway’s best-known poets, Helge Torvund’s SERIOUSLY WELL is a book-length poem that explores the characteristics and limits of poetic incantation in relation to memory and illness. With spare lines and simple language, Torvund layers intimate recollections of nature, childhood, and ultimately a personal illness, and his deeply affecting acceptance of death. But Seriously Well is not a poem of mourning; rather it is one of expectation, experience, and of “a confidence that told me / the very best thing to do for me / was to be where I am, / be alive / in that which is.” Translated from Norwegian by its author, SERIOUSLY WELL is the first full-length book of Torvund’s poetry to appear in English.

Helge Torvund was born in Ha, Norway in 1951, and lives with his wife near the South-West coast of Norway. He has published over two dozen collections of poetry, along with children’s books, essays, and translations. In 2018 he was awarded the Dobloug Prize from the Swedish Academy. His children’s book Vivaldi (NYRB, 2019) was included in Flavorwire’s 20 Most Beautiful Children’s Books of All Time.