Poetry International Poetry International

Eva Jensen

Eva  Jensen

Eva Jensen

(Noorwegen, 1955)
Eva Jensen writes poetry, short stories, novels, and essays. She could be characterized as an explorer of genres, a trait she shares with many Norwegian writers of her generation. First and foremost, however, she sees herself as a poet poised on Europe’s northern rim.
This geographical awareness features prominently in her poetry. The nearby ocean, the unchanging landscape, the open, wind-swept spaces, are recurring motifs. Her poems are surprising combinations of the extraordinary and the commonplace, spiced with a restrained exuberance and explicit eroticism. Jensen’s poetry is a deliberate reflection on the nature of literature which is in essence prosaic. Her writing may be best described as linguistic sabotage. She herself pleads guilty to sabotaging the traditional epic novel, but it is not just the novel she takes on. Thus her ballad No Shop in Pain (1991) challenges the reader’s conventional expectation of the poem as as place for feeling, as opposed to critical reflection. How a critical reflection on literature may be couched in poetic form, is illustrated by the text The Poetics of the Dog: ‘I wished to show how you can shake your head in such a way as to make your hair fly off in all directions.’ (From: The Quiet Yellow Dog in Spectacles, 1994). The unmistakable hint of irony is another characteristic of Jensen’s work.

Since her 1984 début Eva Jensen has written eight prose books, four of which are for children and young adults. This year sees the publication of her third book of poetry: Alle i Alta kan. Alfabetdikt. (In Alta Everyone Can Do It. Alphabet Poems).
© Janke Klok (Translated by Ko Kooman)

[Eva Jensen took part in the Poetry International Festival Rotterdam 2000. This text was written on that occasion.]

Publications (selection):

Dikt og tekstar (1984); Ingen smertebutikk (1991); Interessert, eg? (1991); 3 x Jensen (1994); Den rolege gule hunden med brillene (1994).
Gedichten van Eva Jensen
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Lira fonds
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère