Ahead of the Festival of Small Literature: Iceland, we asked the island's poet, writer and playwright Kristín Ómarsdóttir a few short questions.
Could you describe yourself in 3 words?
Egoistic, stubborn, vulnerable.
Without summarizing it, what would you say your poetry in the Anthology is about?
About people who are hostages of other people, and the exploitation of women and workers. In my work, I curse the system of my society, or so I hope. And also, about a distant dream I hope to come closer to.
How would you describe the literary scene in Iceland in only one sentence?
Very happy writers who are much fun to be around create this promising and prosperous scene, but the scene is under the control of capitalism, that is why writers in Iceland laugh so much and so dearly. And all the inhabitants do that actually, they laugh more than cry, much more.
What does the term “small literature” mean for you? How would you explain it?
I don't understand what should be small literature and what big, I don't grasp the meaning - in Iceland, writers live relatively close to each other, but they are also isolated from each other, which seems to be a matter of importance for writers and poets - in a sane and isolating silence of a writer's room literary voices can be heard and transcribed.
Why do you write?
For my mother.
What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever been given?
Relax, don't rush.
And the worst?
Write about things you know.
What are you working on at the moment?
What have you been reading lately?
Currently, I am reading To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara, Normal People by Sally Rooney and poems by Anna Akhmatova.