Translator Johannes Göransson
Swedish poet Aase Berg began her artistic trajectory as a member of the radical organization, the Surrealist Group of Stockholm. Her first book, Hos rådjur (With Deer), was published in Sweden in 1996. Since then she has publishedMörk materia (Dark Matter), Forsla fett (Transfer Fat), Uppland (Uppland) and Loss (Loss). Her first book to appear in English, Remainland: Selected Poems, was published by Action Books in 2004. She is considered one of the most influential and unique poets in Sweden, earning her translations into English and various European languages as well.
Johannes Göransson was born in Sweden, but has lived around the US for several years. He is the author of: Dear Ra (Starcherone, 2008), Pilot (Fairy Tale Review Press, 2008) and A New Quarantine Will Take My Place (Apostrophe Books, 2007)—and the chapbook Majakovskij en tragedy (Dos Press, 2008). He is also the translator of: Collobert Orbital by Johan Jonsson,Gingerbread Monuments by Victor Johansson & Klara Kallstrom, Remainland: Selected Poems by Aase Berg and Ideals Clearance by Henry Parland. He is the co-editor of Action Books and the online journal Action, Yes.
Aase Berg’s poetry is discomforting because it lacks boundaries . . . When I read her I notice how my consciousness tries to separate, divide up and make sense of her almost hallucinatory images, but they always glide back together. I get nauseous and almost seasick from her texts.
—Åsa Beckman, author of I Myself A House of Light - Postmodern Swedish Women Poets
Aase Berg’s poems deepdive through the perversity of nature, groping the outer edges of subjectivity. Along this super-charged border dichotomies infest one another—inside/outside, human/animal, animate/inanimate, macro/micro—and desire cannibalizes all. Think Hansel and Gretel on acid, think of the horrors of cookie dough. If this unflinching and awesome collection is the shape of modern poetry, then, as Bob Hope said in his 1965 United Artists modernist classic, ‘I’ll take Sweden.’
Oh, you have taken it too far, Aase Berg, on this field trip to dismember an apocalyptic body that is self-bomb, culture-bomb; you are scratching at the interior of the bomb that has no exterior. Amusedly, bombastically, terrifyingly you scratch. Johannes Göransson’s translation is lush and boldly guttural and the two of you have my intestines by a leash. ‘One by one you turned my faces up/toward the sun’s surface/and drank them like deer water.’