The National and University Library of Iceland and the Writers' Union of Iceland have established a new poetry book prize entitled Maístjarnan (May Star) that will be awarded annually for the best poetry book the former year.
The May star was awarded for the first time May 18th 2017 to author Sigurður Pálsson for his book Ljóð muna orð, published in 2016 by JPV Publisher.
Sigurður Pálsson (born 30 July 1948), is an Icelandic author and translator. He works primarily in cinema and television, theatre, and university teaching. He is particularly noted, among Icelandic writers, for his close links with France
Sigurður was in France during the May 1968 revolts, which influenced his intellectual and literary evolution.
During the 1970s, Sigurður Pálsson was part of a group of young Icelandic poets, the Listaskáldin vondu, who worked to renew Icelandic literary language by combining colloquial language with traditional influences; the group also included Steinunn Sigurðardóttir, Pétur Gunnarsson and Þórarinn Eldjárn. In 1975, he published the collection Ljóð vega salt, which deployed autobiographical elements to probe contemporary life.
From the 1980s onwards, he published collections of poems, a number of novels, ten or so plays, and twenty or so translations, mostly from French.
He has also taught at the University of Iceland and the Iceland Academy of the Arts.
Sigurður was made a knight of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1990 and of the Ordre du Mérite in 2007. In 2007 his memoirs, Minnisbók, won the Icelandic Literary Award.