Maístjarnan Poetry Prize

Maístjarnan

2017

A new poetry prize, Maístjarnan (May-Star) handed out for the first time. The Icelandic Writers' Union and the National Library of Iceland host this annual prize, handed out for a single work of poetry published in the previous year. 

Poet Sigurður Pálsson was the first recipient of the prize for his book Ljóð muna rödd (2016). The book is the last one the poet wrote, as he passed away on September 19th the same year. 

The panel of judges said this about the book:

"'Here from the margin of Europe' is the name of one of the poems in Ljóð muna rödd, a book rich of voices, light, shadows, closeness and distance. The margin can unexpectantly become a rich space and it fits well the poet who writes this. Sigurður Pálsson's rich poetic world is depicted in this work, a poet who has contributed greatly to the renewal and strength of the Icelandic poetic language. Ljóð muna rödd is a powerful book that tackles big questions. The voice referred to in the title is poignant, the poems are rich in imagery, melancholy and riveting, but at the same time the are an ode to life and the joy of living."