Poet Tomas Transtromer Nobel Laureate

At least you can credit the Nobel committee with consistency. Again, the committee passed on American writers (a Nobel judge said in 2008, Americans are “too insular” to be worthy of the award; Toni Morrison was the last American to win, in 1993). A late surge in betting at Ladbroke’s in the UK gave Americans brief hope that Bob Dylan might be the winner.

This year’s winner, Swedish poet Tomas Transtromer, at least has some connection to the US. The Guardian, in reviewing a new collection of his poetry earlier this year, called him, “…that rare thing: a non-English-language poet who has been fully accepted into British and US poetry in his own lifetime. In the 60s he became associated with Robert Bly and the Deep Image school of US poetry.”

For Americans not familiar with him, the AP story provides helpful information on the pronunciation of his name; TRAWN-stroh-mur.

Transtromer’s latest, New Collected Poetry hasn’t been published in the US yet, but three earlier collections are available and in many library collections.

The Great Enigma: New Collected Poems
Tomas Transtromer
Retail Price: $17.95
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: New Directions – (2006-10-17)
ISBN / EAN: 0811216721 / 9780811216722


Tomas Transtromer: Selected Poems, 1954-1986
Tomas Transtromer
Retail Price: $14.99
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Ecco – (2000-02-09)
ISBN / EAN: 0880014032 / 9780880014038

The Half-Finished Heaven: The Best Poems of Tomas Tranströmer
Tomas Transtromer, Robert Bly
Retail Price: $15.00
Paperback: 122 pages
Publisher: Graywolf Press – (2001-10-01)
ISBN / EAN: 1555973515 / 9781555973513

3 Responses to “Poet Tomas Transtromer Nobel Laureate”

  1. Robin Fulton Says:

    “hasn´t been published in the US…” What do you mean? The NEW COLLECTED POEMS (Bloodaxe Books, UK, 2010) was already available in the USA from New Directions (2006).

  2. Nora Rawlinson Says:

    It’s confusing — the Guardian reviewed a “new volume of Robin Fulton’s translations (which includes Tranströmer’s most recent work as well as some previously uncollected haiku and a prose memoir),” in June, 2011. It looks like that book, New Collected Poems (9781852244132) is an expanded edition of an earlier title, but I can’t find evidence that the new edition was published here. A similar-souding title, The Great Enigma: New Collected Poems, also translated by Robin Fulton, was published here and in the UK in 2006.

    Since this post, FSG published “The Deleted World: Poems,” 9780374533533, which PW said “may be the best introduction” to Transtromer’s work, New Directions has published his memoir and two other collections have appeared.

  3. Robin Fulton Says:

    My Tranströmer translations, in successive editions, have been published in the UK by Bloodaxe Books, the final version (NEW COLLECTED POEMS) being brought out in connection with the Nobel Prize. Under licence from Bloodaxe, New Directions brought out the identical book, titled THE GREAT ENIGMA, in 2006. If you look at the title pages you´ll see there´s no need for confusion.
    Robertson´s DELETED WORLD contains only 15 poems, not intended as accurate translations; they have been praised by reviewers who can´t read Swedish.