Þórarinn Eldjárn was born in Reykjavík in 1949. He studied literature, philosophy and Icelandic at the universities of Lund and Reykjavík and graduated in 1975. Lived in Stockholm 1975-80. He has been a professional writer and translator from 1974 when he published his first collection of poetry. Since then he has come out with at least 15 collections of poetry, among them some 6 volumes of children´s verse, illustrated by his sister, artist and writer Sigrún Eldjárn. His work also includes 6 collections of short stories and 4 novels as well as some adaptations for modern readers and children of old Icelandic classics, such as the poems Völuspá and Hávamál, illustrated by Kristín Ragna Gunnarsdóttir.

He has translated many books, plays, poetry and songtexts into Icelandic, mostly from Scandinavian languages and English by writers such as C.M Bellman, H.C. Andersen, August Strindberg, Henrik Ibsen, Göran Tunström, Erlend Loe, Robert Burns, Lewis Carrol, William Shakespeare, just to name a few.

His historical novel Brotahöfuð (1996) was shortlisted for the European Aristeion prize in 1998 and was translated into English and published as The Blue Tower, and also published in Finnish, French and Danish translations. A German translation is to appear in the autumn 2012.

A selection of his short stories has been published in French (1999) and German (2011) and some of his stories and poems have appeared as well in magazines and anthologies in Swedish, English, Norwegian, Hungarian and Chinese translations.

Þórarinn is currently writing his 5th novel as well as working on a translation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth for the National Theatre of Iceland.

Þórarinn lives in Reykjavík, he is married and has had five sons and three grandchildren as well.


Artist-in-residence March and April 2012