Eriksson, Helena

Helena Eriksson - strata


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Helena Eriksson - strata

Translated from Swedish by Jan Teeland and Wendy Klein
Published June 2014. Paperback, 108pp, 8.5x5.5ins.
The poetry of Helena Eriksson can be positioned within the Swedish literary avant-garde associated with the poetry magazine and publishing house, OEI. It is her strong, unique voice, however, which qualifies her for consideration as one of the most interesting and influential Swedish poets of her generation.
    In her alluring, almost filmic poems, she introduces themes of violence and treachery, through the use of doppelgängers and disguises. She is influenced here by a longer tradition represented by writers such as Genet, Bataille and Duras, where literature offers a site for the exploration of desire, rupture and identities in revolt. Motifs that in Eriksson are often articulated as sensuous and tactile, may also be stifled or smothered in layers of cloth, ruffles and ruffs, pearl necklaces, corsets, dresses and bows. As noted in one of the poems in strata, with its many references to Mary Stuart and Elizabeth I and their portraits: “Everything is costume”. That is, reality is a constant act of playing out desires and identities, and poetry is a mode of framing these just as precisely, but differently. —Hanna Nordenhök
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