What Disappears: A Poetic Image of Iceland’s PastPoet Aðalsteinn Ásberg Sigurðsson presents his latest book in English, German and French

Renowned Icelandic poet Aðalsteinn Ásberg Sigurðsson has published bilingual editions of his latest work, Það sem hverfur / What Disappears. The book, now available in English, German and French, presents a moving and unique image of an Iceland that once was. Photographs of abandoned houses by Nökkvi Elíasson accompany the book, providing striking images to Aðalsteinn Ásberg’s hauntingly beautiful words.

In What Disappears, poetry and photography complement one another with a poignant effect and arouse a strong feeling for the ephemeral. Sorrow-filled beauty amplifies the echoes of the past that, in some way, continues to move us. Readers are treated to themes of nature, time, dreams, and relics of the past. Each bilingual edition features the poem in its original Iceland, next to either English, French or German.

This book isn’t the first time Aðalsteinn Ásberg and Nökkvi have worked together. Their first book, Eyðibýli / Abandoned Farms, was published in 2004 when it garnered well-deserved attention. Their collected works have since travelled far and wide in various forms and have received excellent reception. Music has been composed together with the poetry, and the photographs have adorned book covers and magazine pages.

Aðalsteinn Ásberg, who was born in the north Iceland town of Húsavík and is currently based in Reykjavík, is a well-respected figure on the Icelandic literary scene. He made his literary debut in 1977 with a book of poetry, Ósánar lendur / Virgin Soil. Since the ´70s, he has published many books of poetry, poetry translations, one novel, a collection of short stories and a dozen children’s books. His poems have been translated into numerous languages. Apart from his writing, he has produced recordings of his lyrics and songs and has collaborated with several well-known musicians.

Aðalsteinn Ásberg is the founder and editor of Dimma Publishing, which focuses on Icelandic literature and translations of foreign literature. Dimma is also a music label mainly for folk music and jazz.

Meanwhile, Nökkvi, who was born in the north Iceland town of Sauðárkrókur, launched his photography career in 1987, focusing mainly on black and white images. Photographing abandoned houses and deserted farms is a personal passion, and his work has appeared widely on book jackets, as well as in newspapers and magazines in Iceland and abroad.

What Disappears is an ideal souvenir to bring home from your trip to Iceland. The poems, enjoyed in English, French or German, will stay with you, as will the desolate and delicate photos of Iceland’s past.