2000 Henrik Nordbrandt, Denmark: Drømmebroer

2000 Henrik Nordbrandt, Danmark: Drømmebroer
Lisbeth Thorlacius

About the author

Henrik Nordbrandt was born in Copenhagen. But he has spent a large part of his life abroad in countries such as Turkey, Italy, Greece and Spain. He has published thirty-odd collections of poems, essays, children’s books and even a cookbook – in Turkish. Henrik Nordbrandt has also translated Turkish poetry. His poetry is strongly influenced by the cities, landscape, culture and climate of the Mediterranean. Henrik Nordbrandt published his first collection of poems, Digte, in 1966 at the age of only 21.

About the winning piece

Drømmebroer is Henrik Nordbrandt’s 25th collection of poems. Using grim humour, he describes exclusion and living conditions of people in absurd storyettes. His pen is razor-sharp and the poetry is written in a language that is clear as a bell and precise. One of the poems depicts a tramcar racing through residential neighbourhoods full of dead people. Strangely enough, the tramcar comes from the past, but the residential neighbourhoods belong to modern-day Denmark. The Denmark he fled from when he settled outside Denmark. He has been considered an exclusive poet who in terms of central poetry focuses on the I and its close surroundings – as in Drømmebroer – but he has also published a range of books describing problems in contemporary society seen in a wider perspective.


Published by: Gyldendal publishing company 

Publication year: 1998

This is what the Adjudicating Committee had to say

In "Drømmebroer" Henrik Nordbrandt has written one of his most beautiful poetry collections. It is a melancholic and ironic, playful and searching suite of poems. The bridge in the collection is a recurring image of life between arrival and departure, as well as a picture of the memory of the lost and rediscovered in poetry.