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In 2016 the novelist, poet and screenwriter Sjón edited a special issue of the prestigious Icelandic journal Tímarít Máls og menningar, addressing the question “What is an Icelandic writer?”. He included in the selection a few foreign-origin texts in translation. From then on the awareness of a new translingual reality has been successfully brewing in the country. This event, New Voices from Iceland: Translingualism and Translation, will bring to a wider audience the works of four contemporary women writers who have successfully occupied a space in the literary scene in Iceland, either writing in Icelandic or writing in English and having their works translated into Icelandic. The four authors, who will be reading from and discussing their work, are Ewa Marcinek (Poland), Helen Cova (Venezuela), Natasha Stolyarova (Russia) and Mao Alheimsdóttir (Poland). The event is supported by UNESCO Reykjavík City of Literature.


  Ewa Marcinek (1986) is a writer born in Poland. Since 2013, she has been living in Iceland, where she co-founded the Ós Pressan publishing house supporting marginalized authors and the Reykjavík Ensemble international theatre company. Ewa is the author of Polishing Iceland (2022), a collection of stories and poems about immigrant life in Iceland. Ewa's writing has been published in magazines, literary journals, poetry and prose collections in Iceland and abroad, and her work has been adapted for the stage and used in theatre performances, short films, and visual art. 

   Natasha S. (1987) is a poet, translator, journalist, and editor born in Russia. She has a BA degree in journalism and has written freelance articles about her new homeland. She also holds a BA in Icelandic as a Second Language with a minor in Swedish. Natasha has translated Icelandic literature into Russian. She edited an anthology of poetry by poets of foreign origin, Pólífónía af erlendum uppruna (Una útgáfuhús, 2021), and essay collection Skáldreki (Una útgáfuhús, 2023). Natasha’s first book of poetry, Máltaka á stríðstímum (Una útgáfuhús, 2022), was the 2022 winner of the Tómas Guðmundsson Literary Prize.

   Helen Cova is a Venezuelan-Icelandic multidisciplinary writer. Her work includes children's books, poetry, essays and short stories. Her books have been published in several languages, including Icelandic, English, Spanish and Persian. Helen's work has also been published in journals and magazines in Iceland as well as being selected for international projects like the Lunar Codex and Ordskælv. Helen is the current president of Ós Pressan and the founder and CEO of publishing house Karíba. She focuses on the use of her languages as a tool for inclusivity and creation. 

   Mao Alheimsdóttir received the New Voices Grant from the Center for Icelandic Literature in 2021 for her novel Veðurfregnir og jarðarfarir, which is her first book. Her writing has previously been published in Tímarit Máls og Menningar. Mao is from Poland and writes in Icelandic. In her writings, she has, among other things, discussed her own origins.

   Francesca Cricelli holds a PhD in Literary Studies and Translation from the University of São Paulo, Brazil. She is currently a Visiting Fellow at ILCS working with the Centre for the Study of Contemporary Women's Writing. She is also a literary translator and has translated works by Elena Ferrante, Igiaba Scego, Claudia Durastanti, Paola Masino, Lisa Ginzburg, and Jhumpa Lahiri. At the University of London she is pursuing research on translingual women authors. She lives in Reykjavík, Iceland, where she teaches Portuguese and learns Icelandic.

All are welcome to attend this free seminar, being held online at 5pm GMT (UK time). Please register to receive the zoom link, by clicking Book Now at the top of the page.

Supported by UNESCO Reykjavík City of Literature