The Black Wall by Laus Strandby Nielsen

Translated by Jørgen Steen Veisland

utopos poetry #1

Laus Strandby Nielsen’s The Black Wall (Den sorte væg) is a collection of subtle poems, embracing a natural musical rhythm without a schematic meter and rhyme. For the first time in the English language this translation of The Black Wall offers to the reader a still picture which ultimately gives way to action and change. Jørgen Veisland, professor of American and Danish literature at the University of Gdańsk, have given these intensely beautiful poems a precise, stringent form. Veisland’s translations are accessible, not making use of esoteric vocabulary or requiring specialist knowledge; and yet they are profoundly rich in potential. These are poems that can be read all at once, or one at the time, such as one would with a good cup of tea.


About the author

Laus Strandby Nielsen, born in Denmark in 1944, is the author of many books following his debut in 1970 with the poems Åhhh! ... Kom hurtigt! (Oh! Come quickly!). Among his most important publications are Som i en drøm. Digte om at vågne (As in a Dream. Poems about Waking Up, 1982), Mellemrum (Spaces In-Between, 1999), Kærlighedsdigte m.m. (Love Poems, etc., 2006), and Når det er mørkt, bliver det lyst (When it is Dark, it gets Bright, 2016). In 2019 he released his latest book of poetry, – og andre steder (– and other places) on Asger Schnacks forlag. Laus Strandby Nielsen was awarded a lifetime stipend from the Danish State Fund for the Arts in 2015, and won The Danish Academy’s Beatrice Prize the same year.

About the translator

Jørgen Steen Veisland is associate professor of Scandinavian, American and Comparative Literature at the University of Gdańsk, Poland, where he has been employed since 1992. He is a member of The International Association for Scandinavian Studies and The International Association for Ethical Literary Criticism. He is the author of Kierkegaard and the Dialectics of Modernism and many other books and articles.